The American Legion Department of Indiana held the 82nd Annual Department Oratorical Contest at the National Headquarters in Indianapolis on March 3, in National Executive Committee room.
The Oratorical program is designed to teach important leadership qualities while promoting effective communication skills.
Mark Gullion, Department of Indiana Children and Youth Commission Chairman explained that this is more than just an Oratorical Competition.
Mark Said, “Each of our state finalists have already received an $800 scholarship. The runner-up will receive an additional $1,000 scholarship and the winner will receive $4,200 in scholarships with a chance to compete at the National competition where they could earn up to $21,000 in scholarships. This contest can become a life-changing experience for some of these students.”
Oratorical Scholarship Contest
The American Legion Oratorical Contest consists of a series of competitive levels. They are:
The American Legion State Oratorical Contest is open to any student who is enrolled in classes equivalent to the regular 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grades. All students must be under twenty (20) years of age. All students must be enrolled in an Indiana high school during any and all levels of participation in this contest. All contestants must be a citizen of or lawful permanent resident of the United States. Students may only enter one District, Zone and State competition.
The student must compete in the District in which his/her sponsoring Post is located.
DATES OF COMPETITION
District and Zone contests are generally held in January and February respectively. Times, dates and locations of competitions will be provided by American Legion posts to the contestants they sponsor.
The State Finals will be held at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 1, 2020, at the National Headquarters of The American Legion located at 700 North Pennsylvania Street, Indianapolis, IN 46206.
National Finals will be held at the Wyndham Indianapolis West Hotel the weekend of April 17-19, 2020.
If a school wishes to enter a contestant in The American Legion State Oratorical Contest, school officials must fill out and sign the “Certification of High School Representative” form. Click below.
CONDUCT OF CONTEST
At any level of oratorical competition within the state of Indiana, the contest is under the supervision of a contest chairman, who has the responsibility of seeing that the contest is held in accordance with The American Legion State and National oratorical rules.
At any level of oratorical competition in the interest of fairness, the contestants are never allowed to hear the other contestants’ orations. The contestants deliver their oration one at a time while the other contestants are being held in a sound proof or isolated room away from the contest stage.
So that a speaker may know the length of the oration while it is being delivered, timekeepers will hold up cards during the prepared oration after 8, 9, and 10 minutes have elapsed. During the assigned topic portion, cards will be held up after 3, 4, and 5 minutes have elapsed.
A Constitutional Speech Contest"
Participants in the American Legion Oratorical Contest develop leadership qualities, the ability to think and speak clearly and intelligently, and are better prepared for the acceptance of the duties and responsibilities, for the rights and privileges of American citizenship.
A single main speech topic related the United States Constitution will be required with a length of 8 to 10 minutes, as well as an "Assigned Topic" that must consume 3 to 5 minutes of presenter's delivery.
Posts sponsor contestants to compete against their peers and move up to their respective Districts. Those that win at the district level go on to compete at the Zone level. There are five zones across Indiana. (See maps below) Zone winners compete at the Department level and the Department winner will earn the opportunity to represent Indiana at the National level of competition.
Contest Forms & Guides