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High School Oratorical Contest

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.


The subject to be used for the Prepared Orations in the Oratorical Contest must be on some phase of the Constitution of the United States which will give emphasis to the attendant duties and obligations of a citizen to our government. The same subject and oration used in the Department Contest must be used in the National Contest.

Contestants may have in their possession a copy of their Prepared Oration in the First Holding Room. They may consult the copy of their Prepared Oration, until they exit the holding room in order to begin the contest, at which time the copy of the Prepared Oration will be surrendered to the contest official who is monitoring the First Holding Room.

The prepared oration must be the original effort of each contestant and must not take up less than eight minutes or more that ten minutes for delivery. It must be delivered in the English language.

In the Prepared Oration, as well as in the Assigned Topic discourse, quotations must be indicated as such. Where quotations are more than ten words in length, the author's name must be given in the manuscript and cited orally.


The Assigned Topic discourse must not be 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 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, All Contestants at each contest level are required to speak in the English language on the same Assigned Topic. The current year Assigned Topics can be found at:


What to Wear - Uniforms are not permitted. Appropriate business attire is required by all contestants. Contestants are not permitted to wear awards and medals from previous competition.

Travel Expenses - The Department of Florida will pay the travel and lodging expenses of Area Winners and their chaperon to the State Contest. All contestants must be accompanied by a chaperon over 21 years of age.

Speaking Order - A drawing will be held to determine the order in which the contestants will appear. Contestants will be introduced by number only.

Notes or Podium - The use of notes, amplification, lectern, props or prompting in any manner is not permitted.

Participation - Contestants are required to remain in a private room, where the discourse of the other speakers cannot be heard, until it is their turn to speak.

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