Public Speaking Contest

The Oratorical Contest is the longest-running Optimist International program. This contest is designed for young people to gain experience in public speaking . Our Club-level Oratorical contest is planned for March 26, 2022 and will be held following the public health guidelines at that time.

Register by March 19, 2022

Prepare and deliver a 4-5 minute speech on our 2022 topic: Staying Optimistic in Challenging Times

First and Second place winners in our club contest can move on to compete for up to $22,500 in scholarships at the district, regional and international levels. Scholarships are funded by the Canadian Children’s Optimist Foundation.

  • Eligibility Criteria:
    • Open to students under the age of 19 as of October 1, 2021 and who have not yet completed secondary school. There is no minimum age.
    • Contestants are eligible to enter/compete in only one Optimist Oratorical contest during a contest year
    • Contestants who win 1st place at the District level and/or competes at the World Regional level are ineligible to compete in subsequent years.
  • Key Dates for 2022
    • March 19 (midnight) – Deadline to submit signed contest application form (by email or regular mail)
    • March 25 – Deadline to submit a typed copy of speech (email)
    • Saturday, March 26
      • Contest Day – Optimistically we are planning on hosting an in-person event, but we will be prepared if a virtual contest is required.
      • Winners provide copy of birth certificate or passport (required to move on to District level contest
    • Early April – Zone level contest
      • First and Second place finishers in club contest are eligible to complete in the Zone (Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge) contest
    • Early May – District level contest

Download the following document for complete rules and the application form:

Do you have other questions? Email us.


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