Oratorical Contest

Event details

  • Thursday | March 17, 2022
  • 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
  • Menomonee Falls Community Center W152 N8645 Margaret Rd, Menomonee Falls, WI 53051

(above) 2021 Oratorical Contest participants

The date for this year’s contest is Thursday, March 17, 2022 – registration 5:30 and the contest starts at 6:00 at the Menomonee Falls Community Center. The theme for this year’s contest is “STAYING OPTIMISTIC IN CHALLENGING TIMES” – We can’t wait to hear from the students since the speeches were so impressive last year!! If you know of a student that would like to participate, please contact Annie at 414-628-3459 or Annie.j@kw.com

At this pointwe still in need 3 Judges, 1 Alternate Judge and 1 Alternate Timekeeper. Please consider volunteering your time by contacting Mike at 262-290-8354 or email.

The first and second place students will move on to compete at the Zone Competition that will take place on Wednesday, March 30, 2022 at 6:00pm at the Menomonee Falls Community Center. We will be reaching out to the judges/timekeepers/tabulators who helped out last year Zone Competition soon.

We would like to thank Stevie Mistele-Wildt, Dr. Carolyn Anderson, Ann Freudenthal, Fred Blanke and Rema Kunnath for volunteering as judges, timekeepers and tabulators for the Oratorical Contest.

Seeking 3 Judges, 1 Alternate Judge, 1 Alternate Timekeeper

Contact Mike Russell  262-290-8354

Topic for the 2021-22 school year is: “Staying Optimistic in Challenging Times”

Contest is open to any student attending school in Menomonee Falls and under the age of 18 as of October 1, 2021 (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 March 30th. Winner of the Zone contest advances to the District contest.

How To Enter: Interested students submit a speech on the pre-assigned topic, “Staying Optimistic in Challenging Times,” to Mike Russell or Annie Jurczyk at annie.j@kw.com.

2021-2022 Application

Deadline to submit application for participation in the Club contest is March 14, 2022.


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