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Georgia Academic Decathlon

Speech Judges & Timers Volunteer Information

Date: Saturday, February 24, 2024Time: 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Location: Kennesaw State University (more directions in 2024 Speech Volunteer Letter link)

Download 2024 Speech Volunteer Letter and Parking Instructions here.

Understanding the Speech Rubric

Thanks to all of you who have volunteered to judge the Speech event of the PAGE Georgia Academic Decathlon. For the few hours of your time spent in this endeavor, you will be rewarded by witnessing the results of the hard work and creativity of some fine young people.

The Speech event of PAGE GAD is the least restrictive of the events in that the decathletes can choose their own topic on which to base their prepared speeches. They are cautioned by their coaches that the topic and delivery must be in good taste, but that is about it as far as restrictions. Expect to hear some wildly creative presentations as well as some fairly staid ones.


In the training session you will be instructed as to how to score each section of the Speech Rubric. Download the rubric here.

(This is just a sample. All speeches will be scored electronically on a personal device utilizing a Google form.)

As a judge you will be listening for the expected development of each speech - opening, body, and conclusion. You will then determine how effective the speech was; that is, how did the audience receive the speech. Was it interesting? The correctness of language is another element to be considered. Does the speaker have command of proper grammar and punctuation? Appropriateness of language will be judged by whether the language promotes clear understanding and fits the occasion.

An interesting element to evaluate is speech value. Is the speaker relating something meaningful to you as a listener? The decathletes will have been coached on using the proper voice, using a variety of pitches, volume, and rate to be clearly understood. The last element to be evaluated is the non-verbal aspect. This would include appearance, body language, and mannerisms.

During the training session, I will be showing you some examples of speeches which will range from poor to excellent. We will try to set some benchmarks for evaluating each of the elements.

If the past is any indicator, your most difficult task will be to score an average speech as average, a poor speech as poor, and to save the highest scores for the truly excellent presentations. I will do my best to help you make those judgments. Be assured that you will be in for a highly entertaining few hours.


Using timers on their personal digital devices or GAD-issued stopwatches, time the competitors' speeches, giving warnings if the speeches are in danger of going over the allotted times. Once the speeches are finished, the Speech Timers record the times so that Speech Judges can issue scoring penalties if necessary.

Thanks again for the time you are willing to contribute.

Heather Dobson

GAD Speech Judges Coordinator

Return to Volunteer Information Page



Michelle Crawford

GAD State Director


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