Forensic Speech is a term with its roots in the Aristotelian conceptualization of rhetoric. Aristotle purposed three types of speech: Epidictic, Deliberative and Forensic. Forensic speech originally referenced speech designed to persuade in the court of law.
Intercollegiate forensics has come to include any speech which can be used as a persuasive tool. Specifically: platform speeches, interpretation of literature and limited preparation speeches. Each of these categories is also divided into different events. At tournaments, judges score presenters based on event criteria as well as adherence to etiquette.
The Liberty University Forensic Speech Team competes on the collegiate circuit as part of several forensics organizations: the Southern and Northern Atlantic Forensics Union (SNAFU), the National Forensics Association (NFA), the American Forensics Association (AFA), and the National Christian College Forensics Association, the forensics honorary society Pi Kappa Delta. The team consists of students who demonstrate excellence in public speaking, who travel to compete in regional and national speech tournaments, contribute to the art of speech through community involvement and recruit for and promote forensics within Liberty University.
The Forensic Speech Team strives to train champions for Christ through instruction, practice and competition in the realm of public communication. Communication skills are often singled out as the most important aspects of success in arenas from business and teaching, to evangelism and preaching. With this in mind the Forensics Speech Team seeks to build not only successful competitors, but great Christian communicators. Through mentoring, practice and competition, students are given the opportunity to find their voice, engage the culture and communicate what is important to them.
The Liberty University Forensic Speech Team, its coaching staff, leadership and students, seek to demonstrate the principle that “if it's Christian, it should be better,” through excellence in ethical and Christ-like behavior, interpersonal relationships, academics and competition.
Students on the forensics team enroll in the Forensic Speech Practicum, a one-credit class in the School of Communication. Applying the principles of communication in a workshop setting helps students better understand the communication skills required for their success as agents for change and godly influence among their peers and others in our society.