2023 State Speech Information


Important notes for preparing for the State Speech Festival, April 21-22, 2023.

Registration Confirmation #

Schools have until Wednesday, April 12, 2023, to re-register/confirm on SpeechWire for the WISDAA State Speech Festival.  All schools must log in, add adjudicators (or acknowledge the $200/uncovered adjudicator) and complete the Confirm Entries step. Schools also may pre-order merchandise directly within SpeechWire; however, placing such an order does obligate the school to that financial commitment. To begin, click the button to Access SpeechWire and log in, or if logged in, click the Registration icon.

T-Shirts/Merchandise #

Schools are encouraged to pre-order through SpeechWire (you can generate a separate merchandise invoice right from the order page); individuals may purchase directly on our website, but no T-shirts will be shipped before the State Festival. No merchandise will be released at the festival without payment (or a school purchase order). There will be a limited inventory on-hand at the festival, so pre-order by 12 Noon on Monday, April 10 to guarantee 2023 shirts.

2023 State Speech T-Shirt

Virtual Option #

The Virtual timeslot may be requested for entries through the re-registration/confirmation process in SpeechWire; Extemp/Impromptu/Radio materials will be posted Monday, April 17 on the State Festival SpeechWire Information page (; videos are due Tuesday, April 25, and adjudication will happen April 27-May 1 (only one video is required; for Storytelling, select one of the three stories). Schools with virtual entries must provide adjudicators or pay $200 for each uncovered adjudicator.

  • Radio, Impromptu, Extemp materials posted Mon. 4/17/23
  • State Video Due: Tue., 4/25/2023
  • Adjudication: 4/27-5/1/2023
  • Evaluations released Tue., 5/2/2023

Social Media #

Whether you operate your own social media for your team or your school/school district does, please tag @wispeechdrama when you promote your team qualifying to State, as well as traveling to and participating at State! We will have a new WISDAA backdrop at the festival, and even some fun “photo booth” props, so come ready to promote all the great things your kids are doing! Hashtag for the event: #wisdaaspeech

Day-Of Protocols #

Contestant itineraries with buildings/rooms will be blasted Thursday, April 20. This is to allow us to be as accurate as possible; sending out information too soon forsakes our ability to adjust for drops and other issues and can foster confusion. 

Adjudicator itineraries will not be sent ahead of time; this is to ensure adjudicators check in and allows us more flexibility to make adjustments. However, we will publish on Thursday, April 20 which DeForest building (high school or middle school) adjudicators should report to. In lieu of an in-person meeting, we will be sending detailed reminders to adjudicators and inviting question submissions, and will be answering those.

Schools should pick up pre-ordered merchandise near the high school main entrance (circle drive).

Guests (such as family/friends of contestants) are welcome this year; however, coaches must inform students it is their responsibility to inform family/friends when and where they are performing. To protect students’ privacy, festival staff will not share such information with individuals other than head coaches of record. Additionally, guests may not record (photo, film, audio) in any contest rooms. See further details, including the address of DeForest High School, at Remember — DeForest is just outside Madison, so schools could still uphold traditions of visiting State Street and even the UW campus before or after coming to DeForest High School.

Schedule #

HS = High School | MS = Middle SchoolFri. 5:30pmFri. 7:30pmSat. 9:30amSat. 11:30am
Arrive; pick up T-shirts, etc.; students may gather in the HS Commons.4:15pm6:15pm8:15am10:15am
Adjudicator packet pick-up
Location: next to HS A133 (MS=table inside main entrance)
Extemp/Radio contestants report to
Location: HS Library Media Center
Poetry, Prose contestants walk to DeForest Middle School5:00pm7:00pm9:00amN/A**
Round begins5:30pm7:30pm9:30am11:30am
Claim medals (see instructions below)
Location: next to HS A142
After roundAfter roundAfter roundAfter round
** For the Saturday 11:30am round, all categories will be at the high school.

Maps #

See aerial map to show walking between DeForest High School and Middle School, as well as building floor plans for each venue.

Adjudicator Information #

Adjudicator/Rules Concerns #

Adjudicators, coaches, or contestants with questions or concerns about adherence to rules may bring those concerns to HS A146. Concerns pertaining to adjudicators must be filed online, following the festival (see button).

Claiming Awards (Medals)​ #

After the round, the coach or one adult brings evaluation sheets for verification (in case they haven’t been tabulated yet) and to collect awards next to HS A142. For students whose adjudicators evaluated them electronically, those scores will immediately appear in your State Speech Festival Registration area on SpeechWire (click “View scores” icon) and electronic evaluations will be released to schools by time slot, once all adjudicators from that time slot have completed their rounds.

Advancing to the State Festival is an achievement and earning awards beyond that represents rigorous standards. Coaches of four-year gold medalists should immediately claim the special medallion! Schools not retrieving awards at the festival for their team will be assessed a $25 handling fee, unless they have entries already participating in the virtual division.

Electronic Draw Instructions #

Important Dates #

  • Monday, April 10 (12 Noon): 2023 T-Shirt Pre-Orders Due
  • Thursday, April 13: Final invoice and confirmation of entries
  • Monday, April 17: Extemp/Impromptu/Radio materials posted here (virtual)
  • Tuesday, April 18: Information sent to adjudicators (in-person)
  • Thursday, April 20: Contestant itineraries with rooms
  • Thursday, April 20: Adjudicator building assignments posted/sent
  • In-person: Paper adjudicator ballot pickup/e-ballots released 1 hour prior to round
  • Monday, April 24: Reminder of videos due (Tuesday, April 25)
  • Tuesday, April 25: Information for adjudicators (virtual)
  • Wednesday, April 26: Adjudication assignments
  • Tuesday, May 2: Virtual evaluations/results released
  • Thursday, May 4 (5pm): Adjudicator appeals due
  • Friday, May 5: Announcement of school/team awards
  • Friday, May 12: Adjudicator appeal outcomes sent

Venue Change #

For ONE MORE YEAR, we must hold the State Speech Festival at DeForest High School (plus DeForest Middle School, a 4-minute drive/15-minute walk down the street).  This is due to several changes at UW-Madison, including how our event is “sponsored” on campus. Due to bureaucratic requirements, we have been unable to find an on-campus office/department willing to sponsor us, but several who expressed willingness for 2024. It would seem that like in many of our schools, bandwidth for taking on immediate commitments still remains limited emerging from COVID. Let me make this clear: the WISDAA Board of Control and State Office remain committed to returning to the UW-Madison campus; it just was not yet feasible for 2023. We are engaging with high levels of UW campus leadership to ensure the event can return in 2024. 

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Updated on 01/02/2024
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