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Forensics Team

Who We Are

The LU Forensics program began in 2009 and has been very successful in both secular and Christian college tournaments. The team competes on the collegiate circuit as part of several forensics organizations: the Southern and Northern Atlantic Forensics Union, the National Forensics Association (NFA), the American Forensics Association (AFA), and the National Christian College Forensics Association, the forensics honorary society Pi Kappa Delta, and Collegiate Forensics Association. 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.

What We Do

When people hear “forensics” they often think of TV detectives who examine dead bodies for evidence of who-done-it. The word “forensics” stems from ancient theories about debate, performance and argumentation, originally referencing speech designed to persuade in a court of law. Like crime scene investigators, competitors use evidence as a tool to understand and theorize about the world. Intercollegiate forensics has come to include any speech which can be used as a persuasive tool. Public speaking, in any of the competitive forms (platform, oral interpretation or limited prep), allows students to speak to issues that concern them, putting their ideas and evidence out for others to see.

The forensics program provides students with advanced speaking opportunities beyond what exists in the traditional classroom setting. Participation in forensics allows you to hone your skills in public speaking and professional presentation, increase confidence and poise, and be part of a team of talented and driven students.

Events in college forensics are divided into three categories. 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.

  • Platform Speaking (Public Address) Researched and written by the student; about 10 minutes long. Four types of platform speeches: Persuasive Speaking, Informative Speaking, After Dinner Speaking (speaking to entertain), and Communication Analysis or Rhetorical Criticism. Public Address events sharpen your ability to research and analyze problems, think and listen critically, express your thoughts clearly and fluently, and better understand public affairs. 
  • Oral Interpretation Events: Close to, but is not, acting. Great for actors, or those who want to be actors. Categories of interp events: Prose Interpretation, Poetry Interpretation, Dramatic InterpretationDuo Interpretation, and Program Oral Interpretation (or POI). The skills learned in Oral Interp improve your ability to present yourself and your ideas, which enhances your proficiency for interviews and auditions. 
  • Limited Preparation Events: Prepared and delivered within a set amount of time. Two limited preparation events: Extemporaneous Speaking and Impromptu Speaking. In both, the competitor is presented with a quotation or a question and given a limited amount of time to prepare an oral response. Great training for quickly analyzing and formulating and delivering a logical response. Extemporaneous allows 30 minutes to prepare a 7 minute response. Impromptu allows 2 minutes preparation for a 5 minute speech. 

Brief weekly team meetings and individual coaching sessions help students prepare for competition. Monthly tournament travel, funded by LU, allows students to meet and compete with their peers from colleges in our region and around the country.

Forensics Mission

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.

Become a Member

To learn more about the LU Forensics Team, contact us.

Email: forensics@liberty.edu or Forensics Coordinator, Denise Thomas  adthomas@liberty.edu

Phone: (434) 582-7832