Skip to content →

Summer Speech and Debate Institutes

Summer Speech and Debate Institutes


  • The 2024 dates have been announced!  Debate, Public Address, Oral Interpretation and Limited Prep will be offered July 21-28, 2024*.
    • *This is a slight change from our usual Sunday – Friday schedule. Students who need to check out Friday may sign up to do so with prorated fees.
  • Online payments are now available – to make a one-time payment or set up an installment plan, visit our U-store (please note, the system will not provide a total. If you need a confirmation of your balance please contact us).
  • Follow us on Facebook: and on Instagram: @isu_ssdi
  • In an effort to help more students attend camp, we will be offering a discount to schools who send us 5 or more Residential students.  Email Megan at if you are interested!  (some restrictions apply)

Apply to the Institute

The 2024 Summer Speech and Debate Institute runs from July 21-28. For more information please email or phone at (309) 438-8447 for speech and (309) 438-7820 for debate.

We are proudly the oldest and one of the most successful student organizations on campus. We have placed in the top 10 at the American Forensic Association and National Forensic Association national tournaments for nearly 20 years and have a long history of success at the national level.

The highest level of dedication and commitment to excellence can be found in our Institute.

Institute Philosophy

The emphasis of the Institute is on teaching both novice and experienced students the skills and theory necessary to successfully participate in interscholastic speech activities and serve as team leaders. The ISU Summer Speech and Debate Institute meets all the recommendations of the National Developmental Conference on Forensics. Every participant will have an opportunity to work with an experienced teacher in small classes to prepare and polish their events. The workshop has consistently maintained an instructor to student ratio of 1:4. 

Institute Staff

The heart of a dynamic workshop is, of course, the staff. ISU has assembled an outstanding group of successful coaches from both high school and college ranks. We also welcome successful college competitors as faculty, along with ISU graduate student coaches and members of our nationally recognized ISU speech and debate teams.

Materials and Lectures

In addition to event coaching, the Institute offers workshops and activities to educate students on all aspects of speech competition including tournament etiquette, team building, and peer coaching. Students will return to their schools with packets of materials to share what they’ve learned with their teammates.

Schedule of Events 2024

  • All events: July 21-28
  • Application Deadline: June 30

Event Details

Public Address Events

Special Occasion Speaking, Original Oratory, Original Comedy, Oratorical Declamation, and Informative (Expository) Speaking.

Limited Preparation Events

Extemporaneous Speaking, Radio Speaking, and Impromptu Speaking

Oral Interpretation Events

Prose, Poetry, Dramatic Duet Acting, Humorous Duet Acting, Humorous Interpretation, Dramatic Interpretation, Program Oral Interp, Duo, (and more)!


Lincoln-Douglas, Policy, Public Forum, Congress


Students will reside in double-occupancy rooms in the air-conditioned university residence halls. Sheets, towels, and pillows are provided. Mutual roommate requests are accepted. All meals from breakfast on Monday to lunch on Friday are provided. We regard residence hall living as an important part of the summer experience.

Our professional staff members are responsible for the policies, conditions, security, and student supervision in the residence halls. Participants will also have access to Illinois State’s Milner Library, an excellent resource for researching public address speeches, interpretation events, and preparing extemporaneous speaking files. The structure, opportunities, and adult supervision available at ISU make it a first choice for concerned parents.

2024 Tuition and Fees

Residential students:

$875 for tuition, room and meals*

*Residential rate is based on a 7-day schedule (new for 2024).
We will offer a $300 discount to schools who send 5 or more residential students.  Some restrictions apply – contact for details (discount is per school NOT per student).

Commuter students:

Tuition only – $350 for workshop

Tuition + meal plan – $498 for workshop+ meal plan**
**Amount includes all lunches and dinners; meal plans can be prorated, if needed

The Johnson Scholarships:

Scholarships are available to students who demonstrate financial need.  To apply for an institute scholarship, indicate your intent on the application and email / mail / fax:

  • A brief (1-2 page) essay explaining your forensics goals and how camp will help you achieve them (some explanation of your financial need would be helpful) and
  • a letter of support from current coach or guidance counselor.  Letters should either be emailed by the coach/counselor on a school email account, or be printed on school letter head and signed.

Scholarship materials received after June 24 will be considered based on availability of funds.  The Johnson Scholarships are named for ISU alum and 30 year Institute veteran Amy Johnson.  Amy is renowned for her love of forensics and we are thrilled to award scholarships in her name to students who are committed to furthering the art, scholarship and community of Forensics.

Please contact us at if you would like to contribute to the Johnson Scholarship to help more students attend the Institute!

Skip to toolbar