Oratorical Contest

Event details

  • Thursday | March 18, 2021
  • 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
  • Menomonee Falls Community Center W152 N8645 Margaret Rd, Menomonee Falls, WI 53051

(above) 2021 Oratorical Contest participants

Thank you to Jennifer Dedrick and Annie Jurczyk for coordinating the Oratorical Zone Competition held Thursday, April 15th at the Menomonee Falls Community Center.  Judges listened to eight Club winners eloquently deliver their 4- to 5-minute speeches and selected two to go on to District level competition in May:

Sara Booher – senior from Menomonee Falls High School

Tianna Loether – 6th grader from Silverbrook Intermediate in West Bend


This year’s Club Contest occurred on Thursday, March 18, 2021. The theme was “Healing the World with Optimism”. We had 7 students participate (3 boys and 4 girls) ranging in age from 10 to 18 years old.  All of the speeches were so impressive and inspiring!  The top two contestants will move on to the Zone Competition.

Our top two winners are:

Sara Booher – age 18 from Menomonee Falls

Anirudh Warrier – age 13 from Hartland


A special Thank You again to ALL of our volunteer Judges, Timekeepers and Tabulators for this Contest, we could not have made this event the success that it was without you.



Topic for the 2020-21 school year is: “Healing the World with Optimism”

Contest is open to any student attending school in Menomonee Falls and under the age of 18 as of October 1, 2020 (no minimum age applies). Prepare a speech 4-5 minutes in length on the topic indicated above.

Participants in the Club contest win cash awards based on the number of entries. The winner of the Club contest advances to the Zone contest to be held in March or April. Winner of the Zone contest advances to the District contest.

How To Enter: Interested students submit a speech on the pre-assigned topic, “Healing the World with Optimism,” to Mike Russell at michaeldrussell@sbcglobal.net  or Annie Jurczyk at annie.j@kw.com.

2020-2021 Application

Deadline to submit application for participation in the Club contest is March 6, 2020.


Beginning in 1928, the Oratorical Contest has become the longest-running program of Optimist International. The contest is designed for young people to gain experience in public speaking and provide them with an opportunity to compete for multiple college scholarships with a pre-assigned topic.

Oratorical Contest LogoInterested students prepare a 4- to 5-minute speech on the assigned topic to be presented at their local Optimist Club’s contest. The speeches are judged at the Club level, Zone level, Regional level (if needed) and then at the District level. Optimist Club Oratorical Contest Winners will compete at the Optimist District Contest for a chance to win up to a $2,500 scholarship.

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.

How To Enter: Interested students submit a speech on the pre-assigned topic to their local Optimist Club.


Oratorical Contest Co-Chairs: Mike Russell and Annie Jurczyk