Oratorical Contest

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This year's topic:
“Staying Optimistic in Challenging Times”

Youth under the age of 19 as of October 1, 2021 (and is not enrolled as a degree seeking student of a post-secondary institution) in the United States, Canada or the Caribbean. There is no minimum age.

How To Enter: Interested students must contact their local Optimist Club (click here for help finding a club in your area). They need to submit an essay on the pre-assigned topic. 

- 2020 Winner -
“Where are my roots of optimism?" 

Rules, deadlines and regulations

Topic for the 2021-2022 school year is: “Staying Optimistic in Challenging Times”

 

Who: Youth under the age of 19 as of October 1, 2021 (and is not enrolled as a degree seeking student of a post-secondary institution) in the United States, Canada or the Caribbean. There is no minimum age.

 

How To Enter: Interested students submit a speech on the pre-assigned topic to their local Optimist Club. To find out the contact in your area, please e-mail the Programs Department at programs@optimist.org.

Students
The deadline to enter is determined by the sponsoring Optimist Club. All Club-level contests are typically held by late March.

 

Clubs and Districts
Districts and Clubs may opt to hold an online Oratorical Contest. Click here for more information.

 

2022 Optimist International Oratorical World Championships
July 20-22, 2022 Saint Louis University St. Louis, Missouri, USA


The Optimist Oratorical Contest gives youngsters the chance to speak to the world. More than $150,000 in college scholarships funded by the Optimist International Foundations is awarded annually from this program.

First conducted in 1928, this is the second most popular Optimist International Program. Nearly 2,000 clubs participate in this program each year. The winners at the Club level receive medallions and Zone winners receive a plaque. Districts have the opportunity to provide a first place scholarship of $2,500, a second place scholarship of $1,500, and a third place scholarship of $1,000.