2019 Topic

"Is There a Fine Line Between Optimism and Reality?"



Since its start in 1928, the Optimist Oratorical Contest has become the longest-running program sponsored by Optimist International. The contest is designed for youth to gain experience in public speaking and provide them with the opportunity to compete for a college scholarship.


How Does it Work?

Each Optimist Club will judge the local students’ speeches based on content and presentation to determine the top winners. SWONT District top two contestants in finals will be awarded a trophy from the district, and a $2,500 scholarship from Optimist International. The District winner will go on to compete in the International Competition.

How to Apply?


Interested students should prepare a 4- to 5-minute speech on the assigned topic to be presented at their local Optimist Club’s contest. The speeches are judged at the Club level, Zone level, Regional level (if needed) and then at the District level. Members of the public who wish to enter the Optimist Oratorical Contest, must do so by contacting their local Optimist Club.

Important Documents

Application Form

Oratorical Brochure

When and Where

District Semi-Final Competition

Date & Time: TBA

Registration: TBA

Location: TBA

District Final Competiton

Date & Time: TBA

Oratorical Planning Guides


Club Oratorical Planning Guide


District Oratorical Planning Guide