Optimist International Oratorical Contest


Students from all over North America will advance to compete with international students at the World Championship to be held June 27-29, 2018 at Saint Louis University!


This Oratorical contest is designed to assist youth in gaining public speaking experience and provide them with an opportunity to compete for a scholarship.

Both the Forsyth-Cumming Optimist Club and the Sawnee-Cumming Optimist Club work together to coordinate the Oratorical contest since the number of students who participate in Forsyth County are as many as 5,500 to 6,000.


Elementary School (5th grade) Contest

Elementary schools incorporate the Oratorical Contest into their curriculum. Speeches must be less than three minutes long.
There are two contests in each club for the 5th graders, one is a semifinal and the other is a final.
A 1st, 2nd and 3rd place male and female winner is chosen by both clubs.


Middle/High School Contest

Speeches must be between four and five minutes long.
Each club holds a semi-final. The club winners join together for the finals where each club is represented by a male and female.
Middle/High School winners have the opportunity to continue on to Zone, Area and District.
Club winners receive a plaque and $500.
District winners receive a plaque and a $2500 scholarship.

Each District may send one winner to Region for the opportunity to win a $5,000 scholarship. Each Region will send their winner to compete for the World Championship and a $15,000 scholarship.



The Oratorical Contest is open to students under the age of 18 of the current contest year (October 1 – September 30).
Students must be educated in the United States, Canada or the Caribbean.


How to Enter

Students interested in the Oratorical Contest must speak with the English teacher in charge of the contest for the school. Teachers will work with the students to create speeches and guide them through the process.



Topic for the 2017-2018 School Year is: “WHERE ARE MY ROOTS OF OPTIMISM?



Please view the Oratorical application for complete rules.


Previous School Winners

2016 Elementary School Winners

1st Place: Sierra Bachlear – Cumming Elementary, and Avi Stein – Matt Elementary.

2nd Place: Josephina Tran – Pinecrest Elementary, and Arian Yavari – Haw Creek Elementary.

3rd Place:  Abigail Lloyd – Mashburn Elementary, and Ricardo Urena – Pinecrest Elementary.

2016 Middle/High School Winners

Reagan Smith & Raymond Qin


For more information, please contact us.