American Legion National High School Oratorical Contest
Are you eager to enhance your public speaking skills while also gaining a deeper understanding of the U.S. Constitution? Look no further than the American Legion National High School Oratorical Contest.
This annual competition challenges high school students to deliver speeches on constitutional topics, showcasing their critical thinking and communication abilities.
For over 80 years, the American Legion has hosted this prestigious contest, providing young people with a platform to develop their public speaking skills, increase their knowledge of the Constitution, and earn scholarship prizes.
Participants deliver a prepared speech on a constitutional topic of their choosing, followed by an impromptu speech on a randomly selected constitutional topic.
This oratorical contest offers an unparalleled opportunity for students to enhance their communication skills, develop their confidence, and engage in thoughtful discussions about the principles that underpin the United States.
Read on to learn more!
What is the purpose of the American Legion National High School Oratorical Contest?
What is the purpose of the American Legion National High School Oratorical Contest? This contest is a yearly event that brings together high school students from all over the United States to compete in an oratorical competition.
This contest is one of the oldest and most prestigious events of its kind, and it has a long and proud history of promoting excellence in public speaking and fostering a deeper understanding of American citizenship and patriotism.
The purpose of this contest is multifaceted. First and foremost, it is designed to help students develop their public speaking skills.
Public speaking is an essential skill that is valuable in almost every area of life, and it is particularly important for those who aspire to leadership roles in their communities, their professions, or in public service.
The contest provides students with an opportunity to practice and refine their speaking skills as they prepare and deliver their speeches before a live audience.
Another important purpose of this contest is to promote civic education and foster a deeper understanding of American history and government. To participate in the contest, students must choose a topic related to the U.S. Constitution and deliver a speech on that topic.
By requiring students to research and reflect on these important topics, the contest helps to deepen their understanding of the principles and values that underpin American democracy.
In addition to promoting public speaking skills and civic education, this contest is also an opportunity for students to demonstrate their patriotism and commitment to their country. The contest is designed to encourage students to think deeply about what it means to be an American and to articulate their thoughts and feelings on this topic.
By doing so, they demonstrate their love and respect for their country and their willingness to engage in the important work of building a better and more just society.
Beyond these specific goals, the American Legion National High School Oratorical Contest has broader cultural and social significance. By bringing together students from diverse backgrounds and regions, the contest promotes cross-cultural understanding and dialogue.
It allows students to learn from one another and to appreciate the unique perspectives and experiences that each participant brings to the competition. Through this process, the contest helps to build bridges between different communities and foster a greater sense of national unity and solidarity.
Moreover, the contest also provides an opportunity for students to connect with mentors and role models who can inspire and guide them in their future endeavors. The American Legion has a long history of supporting veterans, and many veterans and members of the military volunteer their time to help coach and mentor students who participate in the contest.
These mentors provide valuable guidance and support to students, helping them to develop their skills and encouraging them to pursue their goals with passion and determination.
Overall, the contest is an important event that serves many important purposes. It promotes public speaking skills, civic education, patriotism, cross-cultural understanding, and mentorship, all while fostering a greater sense of national unity and solidarity.
As such, it is a valuable and worthwhile endeavor that benefits not only the students who participate in it but also the broader communities and society as a whole.
How does the American Legion National High School Oratorical Contest work?
How does the American Legion National High School Oratorical Contest work? This contest is an annual public speaking competition for high school students in the United States. The contest has been held since 1938 and is open to all high school students in grades 9 through 12.
The purpose of the contest is to develop leadership qualities, the ability to think and speak clearly, and an understanding of the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. The contest also provides students with an opportunity to earn scholarship money to help fund their higher education.
The oratorical contest is divided into several levels of competition. Students first compete at the local level, where they deliver their speeches in front of a panel of judges. The winner of the local competition then advances to the regional competition, where they compete against other local winners from their state.
The winner of the regional competition then advances to the national competition, where they compete against winners from all 50 states.
To compete in the contest, students must prepare and deliver a speech on some aspect of the United States Constitution, with an emphasis on the duties and obligations of a citizen to our government.
The speech must be between eight and ten minutes in length and must be original, meaning it must be written and delivered by the student.
In addition to delivering their prepared speech, contestants are also required to deliver a randomly assigned 3- to 5-minute speech on a topic related to the Constitution. This gives contestants the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of the Constitution and their ability to think on their feet.
The American Legion Oratorical Contest is judged on several criteria, including the content and delivery of the speech, the speaker’s ability to engage and persuade the audience, and their overall knowledge and understanding of the Constitution. Judges also consider the speaker’s poise, confidence, and stage presence.
Prizes are awarded at each level of competition, with the national winner receiving a scholarship of $25,000. The second place receives $22,500, and the third place receives $20,000. Other awards are given for the best-prepared speech, the best-assigned speech, and the best overall speaking performance.
To participate in the American Legion National High School Oratorical Contest, students must first contact their local American Legion Post to obtain an application and contest rules.
The application must be completed and returned to the American Legion Post by a specified deadline. Students who advance to the regional and national levels of competition are responsible for their own transportation and lodging expenses.
The oratorical contest provides students with a unique opportunity to develop their public speaking skills and deepen their understanding of the United States Constitution. By competing in the contest, students gain valuable experience and knowledge that will serve them well in college and throughout their lives.
In addition to the scholarship money awarded to winners, the American Legion Oratorical Contest also provides students with the opportunity to connect with other young people who share their interests in public speaking and civic engagement.
By participating in the contest, students develop a sense of community and a connection with others who are passionate about making a positive difference in the world.
Overall, the American Legion National High School Oratorical Contest is an outstanding opportunity for high school students to develop their public speaking skills, deepen their understanding of the United States Constitution, and earn scholarship money to help fund their higher education.
Whether you are a high school student who is passionate about public speaking and civic engagement or a parent or teacher who wants to encourage your students to develop these important skills, this oratorical contest is definitely worth considering.
What topics can students expect to speak about during the competition?
What topics can students expect to speak about during the competition? The contest has three levels: local, state, and national. At each level, students deliver a prepared speech and an assigned topic speech.
The assigned topics for the speech vary each year but typically revolve around issues related to the Constitution, citizenship, and government. Here are some examples of past assigned topics:
1. The United States Constitution has endured for over two centuries as the framework of government. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of having a written Constitution.
Advantages: clarity and specificity in the law, stability, protection of individual rights, and opportunities for amendment and interpretation
Disadvantages: inflexibility, the potential for misinterpretation, and difficulty in responding to unforeseen circumstances
2. How did the Constitution guard against tyranny?
Discuss the separation of powers, checks and balances, and the Bill of Rights as mechanisms for preventing any one branch or individual from gaining too much power and becoming tyrannical.
3. Discuss how the American Legion, as an organization, helps to promote Americanism and patriotism.
Discuss the American Legion’s programs and initiatives, such as flag education, scholarship programs, and youth activities that promote civic responsibility and a love for our country.
4. How should the United States approach the issue of illegal immigration?
Discuss the importance of border security and immigration reform while balancing compassion and respect for human dignity. Consider the economic and social impacts of immigration, as well as the need to maintain national security.
5. How can you promote an informed and educated electorate?
Discuss the importance of education, media literacy, and civic engagement in creating an informed electorate. Consider the role of social media and the need for individuals to seek out diverse perspectives and reliable sources of information.
Remember to provide clear and concise arguments, use evidence to support your points, and use persuasive language and delivery to engage your audience.
Speech on Any Aspect of the Constitution:
- Choose a topic that you are passionate about, and that relates to your own experiences or interests.
- Discuss the historical context and significance of your chosen topic, as well as its current relevance to our society.
- Consider the implications of your topic for citizenship and civic responsibility, and encourage your audience to reflect on their own duties and obligations as citizens of the United States.
How can high school students prepare for the American Legion National High School Oratorical Contest?
How can high school students prepare for the oratorical contest? The Oratorical Contest is a common event in high schools where students showcase their public speaking skills and engage in friendly competition.
Participating in this contest can be a great opportunity for students to improve their communication skills and gain confidence in front of an audience. Here are ten tips that can help high school students prepare for an oratory contest:
- Choose a topic that you are passionate about: The most important factor in making a successful speech is to choose a topic that you are passionate about. When you are passionate about your topic, it shows in your delivery and makes your speech more engaging and memorable.
- Research your topic: Once you have chosen a topic, research it thoroughly. Gather information from books, articles, and other sources, and make sure you have a good understanding of the subject matter.
- Write a clear and concise outline: A clear outline will help you stay organized and on track during your speech. Start with an introduction, followed by the main points, and then a conclusion. Make sure each point is clearly defined and easy to understand.
- Practice, practice, practice: The key to a successful speech is practice. Rehearse your speech in front of friends, family, or classmates and get feedback on what you can improve.
- Use vivid examples and stories: People tend to remember stories and examples better than statistics and facts. Use anecdotes and personal stories to illustrate your points and make your speech more memorable.
- Use body language to enhance your speech: Your body language and gestures can greatly enhance your speech. Make sure to stand up straight, make eye contact with your audience, and use hand gestures to emphasize your points.
- Time your speech: Make sure to time your speech and stay within the allotted time limit. A well-timed speech shows that you are prepared and in control.
- Use appropriate visual aids: Visual aids such as slides, props, or posters can help make your speech more engaging and memorable. Make sure to use them effectively and not rely on them too heavily.
- Address any potential objections: Anticipate any potential objections your audience may have and address them in your speech. This shows that you are prepared and have thought through your arguments.
- Be confident: Confidence is key to a successful speech. Believe in yourself and your message, and deliver your speech with passion and conviction.
In conclusion, participating in an oratorical contest is a great opportunity for high school students to develop their public speaking skills and gain confidence in front of an audience.
By choosing a topic they are passionate about, researching it thoroughly, practicing, and using effective techniques, students can deliver a successful speech and make a lasting impression on their audience.
The American Legion National High School Oratorical Contest is an excellent opportunity for high school students to showcase their public speaking skills and win scholarships for college.
Participating in this competition can not only help students build their confidence and communication skills but also give them an edge in their college applications.
If you’re a high school student interested in participating in the American Legion Oratorical Contest, you may want to consider booking an initial consultation with AdmissionSight.
Our team of experienced college admissions experts can provide you with personalized guidance on how to prepare for the competition, polish your oratory skills, and enhance your overall application package.
We believe that every student has unique strengths and potential, and we are dedicated to helping you maximize your chances of success in both the American Legion Oratorical Contest and the college admissions process. So why wait? Book your consultation today, and let us help you achieve your academic and career goals.