RVOY Adjudication Guidelines

Rostrum’s Student Development Program for Secondary School Students

Adjudicators will assess each speech as a whole paying particular attention to relevance to the topic, the quality of the content and the effectiveness of the delivery.


(50% of total marks)

This rates the ability of the speaker to achieve a clear purpose using relevant material presented in a logical order.

  • Material – scope, accuracy, clarity, relevance, logic, adequacy
  • Arrangement – introduction, body, conclusion, general construction
  • Progression – cohesion, timing, logic, development, evidence of research and preparation
  • Language – words, sentences, phrases, grammar, word pictures, figures of speech
  • Interest – imagination, originality, wit, illustrations, highlights


(50% of the total marks)

This rates the ability of the speaker to present material so as to affect or influence the audience.

  • Visual Impact – appearance, stance, gesture, notes, use of eyes, aids
  • Vocal Impact – quality, clarity, variety, volume, pitch, use of pause, pace, pronunciation
  • Empathy – contact, understanding, acceptance, audience involvement
  • Mood – feeling, emphasis, enthusiasm, sincerity, speaker’s involvement
  • Appeal – credible, entertaining, memorable, motivating, convincing

Rostrum Voice Of Youth Adjudication Sheet: Standard adjudication sheet used by the Rostrum Voice of Youth adjudicators.

Roles and Responsibilities of Adjudicators: The adjudicator’s primary task is to make judgments about individual speeches and a comparative judgment about all speeches in the competition. This document details the roles and responsibilities of adjudicators