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The Seattle Academy Speech Team offers the opportunity for students to be part of a competitive and supportive team, regardless of experience level. Starting in high school, students have the option to participate in Speech either through a course elective that allows students to prepare and practice during the academic day, or participating in extracurricular planning and competitions. The elective course is not a requirement to participate and compete with the team. While the Speech Team isn’t open to Middle School students, all 7th grade students take a Rhetoric course which exposes them to skills and strategies used on the team. As determined by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association, Speech includes the following eight events:

-Dramatic Interpretation
-Duo Interpretation
-Extemporaneous Speaking
-Expository Speaking 
-Humorous Interpretation
-Impromptu Speaking
-Program of Oral Interpretation (Prose and Poetry) 
-Original Oratory (Persuasive) 

Our Speech Team and Debate Team share a simple philosophy: success is the growth of every member in an environment where each individual victory is enjoyed by all. We will always bring a strong team to competitions, but our primary goal is that each member is able to be happy with the wins, and supportive with the losses. We achieve this goal through hard work and dedication from every team competitor. Our team members are challenged to leave their comfort zones, express themselves, and model excellence for SAAS.

Season Expectations

Speech tournaments occur at local high schools and colleges, as well as national settings, generally on Saturdays. The season begins in mid-October and generally lasts until March. Three meets is the minimum requirement for participation, either in the class or extra-curricular. There is no fee for local competition, national competition may include airfare paid for by the competitor.

Upper School Speech Calendar

Meet Our Coach

Awards / Accomplishments

2009-1st Place, Expository, National Individual Events Tournament of Champions

    2001-2nd place WA 3A State tournament
    2002-3A WA State Team Champions
    2003-3A WA State Team Champions
    2007-3rd place WA 3A State tournament
    2008-3A WA State Team Champions
    2009-3A WA State Team Champions
    2010-3A WA State Team Champions
    2011-3A WA State Team Champions
    2012-3A WA State Team Champions
    2013-3A WA State Team Champions
    2014-3A WA State Team Champions
    2015-3A WA State Team Champions
    2016-3A WA State Team Champions
    2017-3rd place WA 3A State tournament
    2018-3rd place WA 3A State tournament 

    The above list also includes 25 individual Washington event state champions, numerous 
    finalists (top seven in the state) and, most important, over 450 kids who have found their 


Speech at SAAS FAQ

How many tournaments are there, and when are they?

Please refer to the schedule on our team website, which changes often. Speech is unlike being on a sports team in that you pick and choose which meets you want to go to and sign up for them in advance on the board in the Speech Room.

A tournament will generally occur on Saturday (speech events and debate together) for most of the day. We do leave early and sometimes come back late, depending on the location of the tournament. 

What kinds of speeches do the students do?

Here's a brief rundown. If you ever have questions beyond this, your first stop will be your Event Captain.

  • Original Oratory – 8-10 minutes on persuasive topic of student’s choice, student-written, memorized.
  • Expository - 7 minutes on informative topic of student's choice, student-written, memorized.
  • Dramatic/Humorous Interp - 8-10 minutes from a play, memorized, student playing all parts.
  • Dual Interp – Two man version of the same event.
  • Interpretive Reading - 6-8 minutes of combined poetry and prose on a single theme. Read during performance.
  • Extemporaneous – Student has choice of two current event topics, then is given 30 minutes to prepare a 5 to 7 minute speech, researched from the team’s files constructed throughout the year.
  • Impromptu - Student has choice of three broad, lighter topics (quotes, names, etc.) and has six minutes to both prepare and speak on one.

Does is cost anything to be on the Speech Team?

The team budget eats the lion’s share of the fees for each tournament, but we do ask the students to pay any hotel or airfare costs in the event of an extreme “away” meet.

Can parents come watch?

Absolutely! Parents are welcomed and downright encouraged to come and visit tournaments and watch rounds! As long as you bring us snacks. Seriously, Saturdays can get long and kids need to either bring food with them or have money for buying food at the concession areas provided as most tournaments do not allow students to leave the campus.
Be warned: If you do come, there is a good chance I will put you to work! We always need judges.  We do not have much of a judging pool and we generally have to provide one judge for every 5 or 6 kids who come to a tournament. You can learn everything you need to know to get started in about an hour and we will teach you!