I definitely encourage everyone to try an illustrated oratory/expository at least once in your competitive speech career because it’s different from a typical platform speech in a way that I think is particularly relevant to today’s visual culture. IO requires a speaker to capture ideas in easily absorbed images and simple, physical manipulations. These are presented on several 20 x 30 inch foam boards made visible with an easel. So, IO also requires a degree of choreography around the easel. In order to develop those visual aids and get in the extra practice on physical delivery, IO requires a totally different timeline to pull together for competition.