Oratory Contest: Running a Contest

Organizing the contest

1. Obtain a location to hold the contest: schools, auditoriums, civic or private organization halls, etc.  Set the date and time.

2. Determine the prizes and certificates for the participants.

3. Publicity

A.     Start publicity as soon as possible.

B.     Contact local high schools, civic organizations, pro-life newsletters, teen groups, churches and church youth groups, civic or public bulletin boards, home schooling groups etc., supply information regarding the contest (date, time, prizes, name and contact info for the coordinator)

C.    Send a press release to the local papers.     

4. Recruit pro-life judges.  Teachers, pastors or civic leaders would be excellent.  You will need 3 judges for each round, if you will be holding more than one round.  Supply the judges with the contest rules, the contest ballot and any instructions for judges that you will use for the contest.

5. Choose a moderator who will act as a host to welcome the contestants, the audience and judges.  The moderator will explain the rules of the contest and make any announcements regarding the contest or the facility.

6. Choose two impartial individuals who will tally the judges’ ballots.  If possible have a room or area for them to tally away from the contest area.  Calculators with tape help cut down on errors.

7. Choose a timekeeper.  Provide a stopwatch.  The timekeeper should provide the time of the speech to each judge.

Running the Contest

1. Preparation

          A. A table for the judges and the timekeeper.  Provide sharpened pencils, pens and scratch paper.

          B. Podium (the contestants have the option to use the podium)

          C. Provide water for the contestants

          D. Provide a program listing contestants, judges and schedule.

 2.     The Contest

 The moderator (or the contest director) can open the contest with a welcome and any announcements pertinent to the contest.

A.     Provide judges with ballots with the names of the contestants.

B.     The order in which the contestants speech can be determined beforehand either by drawing numbers prior to the contest or alphabetical order.

C.    After each speech, give the judges enough time to write their comments before the next contestant begins.

D.    After the contest, give the judges enough time to complete their ballots.  The timekeeper can collect the ballots and give the ballots to the individuals who will be tallying them.

E.     Provide a room or area away from the contest area for tallying.  Provide pencils and calculators.  Double check the judges’ addition.  If there is an error, consult with the judge before continuing to tally. Use the tally sheet enclosed.  Check the results.

Refreshments may be served during tallying.

F.     When the tallying is complete, have the moderator make the announcement and presentation of the winners.

G.    Take picture that can be used for press releases and newsletters.

H.    Give the contestants their ballots.

I.       Provide the winner with any information about the next contest level they will be participating in.

After the Contest

1. Inform the state coordinator of the name address and phone number of the winner and include a copy of the winner’s speech.

2. Send out a press release on the event to local papers, including that a local teen will be participating in the state contest.  Include a photo, if possible. Sample press releases are enclosed.