- Extemporaneous Speaking: Competitors, after being given a question based on current affairs (international/domestic policy, economic policy, social issues), are given 30 minutes to prepare a 7 minute speech on the given question.
- Impromptu Speaking: Competitors, after being given a word, quote, or subject must prep and give a speech in 7 minute time slot about the given topic.
- Humorous Interpretation: Competitors perform a piece drawn from any previous source of published material. Competitors are judged by how well they portray the characters in their piece and whether the piece is humorous. Pieces can be no longer than 10 minutes.
- Dramatic Interpretation: Dramatic Interpretation is similar to Humorous Interpretation, but is serious, rather than humorous, in nature. Pieces can be no longer than 10 minutes.
- Prose & Poetry: Also known as Oral Interpretation. Competitors read an unmemorized cut of a piece of prose or poetry from a binder. Pieces can be no longer than 10 minutes.
- Program Oral Interpretation: Competitors read a compilation of various types of literature presented in a program format, discussing a clearly defined thesis from a binder. Pieces can be no longer than 10 minutes.
- Duo Interpretation: Competitors perform a piece as a pair, under certain limitations like not making eye contact or touching your partner. Pieces can be either humorous or serious in nature. Pieces can be no longer than 10 minutes.
- Improvisational Acting: Competitors, after being given a word, quote, or subject must prep and give an improv in 7 minute time slot about the given topic.
- Original Oratory: Competitors give a speech with a subject of their own choosing, usually dealing with contemporary problems. Original Oratory's persuasive speeches are unique in the amount of freedom over subject they give the competitor. Speeches can be no longer 10 minutes.
- Declamation: Declamation is open to freshmen and sophomores only. Competitors, rather than write their own speech, memorize and perform a speech that had been previously given by another person. Speeches can be no longer than 10 minutes.
- Informative Speaking: Competitors give a speech on a subject of their own choosing. Informative's speeches are unique in the depth that they explain a topic and the amount of freedom over subject they give the competitor. Speeches can be no longer 10 minutes.
- Congressional Debate: Also known as Student Congress. Students, emulating real-life Congress, debate several bills/resolutions. Unlike other debate events, students can directly influence the topic of discussion at tournaments by submitting legislation. Competitors compete in rounds of 10-30 people called "Chambers" by debating the legislation, through speeches and questioning.
Public Forum Debate
- Public Forum Debate: Originating as the "layman's debate event", competitors debate an issue of national/contemporary importance, ideally to appeal to the common person. Unlike other debate events, competitors compete in pairs, with one partner responsible for delivering a pre-written constructive speech and the other for giving a rebuttal. Topics are decided by the NSDA and change every month.
- Sample topic: Resolved: The United States should end arms sales to Saudi Arabia
- Lincoln-Douglas Debate: Lincoln-Douglas debate places a heavy emphasis on logic, ethical values, and philosophy. Competitors, unlike Public Forum Debate, debate alone. Topics are decided by the NSDA and change every 2 months.
- Sample topic: Resolved: A just society ought to presume consent for organ procurement from the deceased.
- Policy Debate: A two-on-two debate that tests a student’s research, analytical, and delivery skills. Policy debate involves the proposal of a plan by the affirmative team to enact a policy, while the negative team offers reasons to reject that proposal. Throughout the debate, students have the opportunity to cross-examine one another. Topics are decided by the NSDA and remain the same for the academic year.
- Sample topic: Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its funding and/or regulation of elementary and/or secondary education in the United States.