CONTEST DATE: TBDThe American Legion Oratorical Contest exists to develop deeper knowledge and appreciation for the U.S. Constitution among high school students. Since 1938, the program has presented participants with an academic speaking challenge that teaches important leadership qualities, the history of our nation’s laws, the ability to think and speak clearly, and an understanding of the duties, responsibilities, rights and privileges of American citizenship. The program has featured numerous politicians and prominent contestants over the years, including former president candidate Alan Keyes and CNN anchor Lou Dobbs.The Oratorical Contest presents participants with an academic speaking challenge that teaches important leadership qualities, the history of our nation's laws, the ability to think and speak clearly, and an understanding of the duties, responsibilities, rights and privileges of American citizenship.
WHO CAN ENTER:
The Voice of Democracy Program is open to A-C students in grades 9-12. Students enrolled in American Government will be offered the opportunity to participate. But if any other student wishes to participate, he/she should see Mr. Clements for the date of the contest.
HOW TO ENTER:
Please see Mr. Clements or Mrs. Osteen by October 1 if interested in participating.
The 8-10 minute speech must be on some aspect of the Constitution, with emphasis on a citizen’s duties and obligations to our government. No visual aid or notes are permitted.
A judging committee consisting of teachers (other than Mr. Clements and Mrs. Osteen) will evaluate the live speeches. The top three speakers will be awarded cash prizes that are given to the student in May at Awards Night. The first place entry moves on to the next level of competition at the county level which will require that speaker to not only give the same speech but also prepare four smaller speeches (see below). Future competitions for the winner take place on random Saturdays in February and March.
The Prepared Oration:
The oration must be on some aspect of the Constitution, with emphasis on a citizen’s duties and obligations to our government. The same subject and oration used in the department contest must be used in the national contest.
Contestants may have a copy of their prepared oration while waiting in the first holding room. They may consult the copy until they exit to begin the contest. The copy will then be surrendered to the contest official monitoring the first holding room.
Quotations must always be indicated as such. Where quotations are more than 10 words in length, the author’s name must be given in the manuscript and cited orally.
It is acceptable to utilize or incorporate short phrases in a foreign language to develop the argument, establish a point, etc. It should be understood that the vast majority of the prepared oration and/or assigned topic must still be delivered in English. Singing is not permitted and will result in immediate disqualification. The contestant may, however, quote a verse(s) of a song(s) provided proper attribution is made.The Assigned Topics (only for the first place winner who advances to future competition):
The assigned topic discourse must not consume less than three (3) minutes or more than five (5) minutes for delivery. The purpose of the assigned topic discourse is to test the speaker's knowledge of the subject, the extent of his or her research, and the ability to discuss the topic as related to the basic principles of government under the Constitution.
The assigned topic shall be drawn by the contest official in full view of the audience immediately before the last speaker begins delivery of his or her prepared oration and will be made known to the audience and each contestant approximately five (5) minutes prior to the time of delivery. The topic will be on some phase of the U.S. Constitution, selected from Articles and Sections as listed under assigned topics for the current year's contest in this brochure.