Sharpen your skills in public speaking, increase your confidence and poise, and be part of a team of talented and driven students. Join the Forensics team!
What is Forensics?
When people hear “forensics” they often think of TV detectives who examine dead bodies for evidence of “who done it.” The word “forensics” actually stems from ancient theories about debate, performance, and argumentation. It originally referenced 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 that 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.
College Forensics Categories
There are three categories in college forensics that are divided into different events.
At tournaments, judges score presenters based on event criteria as well as adherence to etiquette.
Platform Speaking (Public Address)
Platform speaking or public address events will sharpen your ability to research and analyze problems, think and listen critically, express your thoughts clearly and fluently, and better understand public affairs. This type of speech is researched and written by the student and is about 10 minutes long.
Four types of platform speeches are:
- Persuasive Speaking
- Informative Speaking
- After Dinner Speaking (speaking to entertain)
- Communication Analysis or Rhetorical Criticism
Oral Interpretation Events
The skills learned in oral interpretation will improve your ability to present yourself and your ideas, which will enhance your proficiency for interviews and auditions.
This is close to, but is not, acting. Great for actors, or those who want to be actors.
Categories of oral interpretation events are:
- Prose Interpretation
- Poetry Interpretation
- Dramatic Interpretation
- Duo Interpretation
- Program Oral Interpretation (or POI).
Limited Preparation Events
This forensics category is great training for quickly analyzing, formulating, and delivering a logical response. These are prepared and delivered within a set amount of time.
Two limited preparation events are:
- Extemporaneous Speaking
- Impromptu Speaking
In both of the above, the competitor is presented with a quotation or a question and given a limited amount of time to prepare an oral response. Extemporaneous allows 30 minutes to prepare a 7-minute response. Impromptu allows 2 minutes of preparation for a 5-minute speech.
Our brief weekly team meetings and individual coaching sessions will help you prepare for competition. Monthly tournament travel, funded by LU, allows you to meet and compete with your peers from colleges in our region and around the country.
About LU Forensics
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 the Collegiate Forensics Association.
The Forensics Team consists of students who demonstrate excellence in public speaking. Students travel to compete in regional and national speech tournaments. Team members contribute to the art of speech through community involvement, and they promote and recruit for 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.