Speech involves a presentation by one, two, or sometimes a group of students that is judged against a similar type of presentation by others in a round of competition. Speech events range from limited preparation events that require extensive knowledge of current events to dramatic and humorous interpretation, which challenge students to find powerful moments in literature and recreate them for an audience.

Minh Luong, a professor at Yale University, has studied the role extracurricular activities have played in student success at different stages in people's lives, and he concluded that those lessons learned from high school forensics have played a stronger role student success than any others. Several additional studies conducted over the past decade reached that same conclusion: forensics provides students the skills needed to be successful both in their high school careers, get into higher quality colleges, achieve higher grades there, and then develop into outstanding leaders and managers in their professional lives. These students who competed in forensics throughout their high school careers on average scored higher on standardized tests like the ACT and SAT, had higher high school attendance and graduation rates, and had higher acceptance rates to top tier colleges and universities.

The lessons of effective critical analysis and communication, in particular, have been identified as critical to students' academic success, and the unique approach to these lessons forensics offers prepare students to use them in ways no other activity or course can.