Oratorical Contest

“How to Change the World with Optimism”

Topic for the 2023-2024 School Year

The Oratorical Contest provides an excellent opportunity for students to develop important public speaking skills.  Any student is eligible to participate who is under the age of 19 as of October 1st. The District winner of the Oratorical Contest receives s a 3,500 scholarship ($2,500 from Optimist International and $1,000 from The Great Ohio District).

The District finals will be held on Saturday, May 4, 2024, in person. The World Competition is slated for July 18-19, 2024 in St. Louis. Nearly 2,000 clubs participate in this program each year. The winners at the Club level receive medallions. All Zone and Regional winners will receive plaques. The Ohio District winners receive a plaque as well as a scholarship of $3500 for 1st place, $2000 for 2nd place and $1500 for 3rd place. This contest is non-gender specific. The top winner advances to the World Competition.

  • Two winners at the Club Level
  • Two winners at the Zone Level
  • Two winners at the Regional Level
  • 1st, 2nd & 3rd place winners at the District Level, only 1st place advances to the World Competition

Club Contests: Conducted by March 5, 2024.

Zone Contests: Conducted by March 26, 2024.

Regional Contests: Conducted by April 16, 2024.

Information packets can be requested from Optimist International. The link leads to an application, brochure, and Club Planning Guide.

Lt. Governors: Please mail all winners’ paperwork to your Regional Chair immediately after your zone contest. Regional coordinators should mail paperwork (please make sure all blanks are completed) to Debe Dockins, as soon as your contest is finished.

At each stage, it’s very important that all the paperwork is completed. In order for the scholarships to be processed, the following information is required:

  • The Contestant’s Application Form for the 2023-2024 Contest
  • The Zone/District Regional/District Entry Form which must include the number of contestants that participated in each level of the contest AND the appropriate signatures, including the contestants.
  • The Optimist Regional Information Form from the Regions which will be held in April.
  • A Copy of the contestant’s birth certificate or passport. No other age verification documents will be accepted.
  • A printed copy of the speech.
  • PLEASE make sure you have signatures of club officials.
Scroll to Top