Oratorical Contest

Event details

  • Tuesday | March 10, 2020
  • 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
  • North Middle School Library Media Center N88 W16750 Garfield Drive, Menomonee Falls, WI 53051

(above) 2018 Oratorical Finalists pictured from left to right: 2nd Place Beth Kathzman, Optimist Oratorical Chair Dawn Mariscal, 1st Place Rohitha Punathil and 3rd Place Raghav Pandya. 

Topic for the 2019-20 school year is: “Just iMagine a World without Boundaries”

Contest is open to any student attending school in Menomonee Falls and under the age of 19 as of October 1, 2019 (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 which will be held on March 28, 2020 at 10am at Sussex Public Library. Winner of the Zone contest advances to the District contest.

How To Enter: Interested students submit a speech on the pre-assigned topic, “Just iMagine a World without Boundaries,” to Nancy Kane. For more information or to receive contest materials, please contact Nancy Kane at: nancy-kane@att.net

2019-2020 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.For more information or to receive contest materials, please contact Dawn Mariscal at: dmariscal@wi.rr.com or call (262)250-7680.


Oratorical Contest Chair: Nancy Kane

Oratorical Contest Co-chairs: WendySue Fluegge & Jenn Dedrick