Instructions for participants*
"A person who has overcome" is the topic for the 2013 School Speech Contest.
Students are asked to select one person who has overcome an obstacle in life, like a physical or mental disability or a difficult situation. Participants may choose a person they know, or someone who is nationally famous The person may be living today or someone from history.
In organizing their speeches, students can consider these questions:
- What challenges did this person face? (Consider mental or physical limitations; or racial, gender or cultural discrimination)
- How were the problems overcome? (Explain what the person did to prevail over their situation, and how other people helped or hindered that person's progress.)
- Did the person achieve a significant goal? (Consider what contribution the person made to society.)
Speeches must be at least three minutes and no longer than five minutes long. Speeches must be in the students' own words. Complete rules are outlined in the contest organizer's booklet.
Contestants will be judged using the following 100-point system
40 points for material organization
This accounts for theme and subject adherence, structure, content, logic and color.
40 points for delivery and presentation
This includes voice, pronunciation, enunciation, gestures and poise.
20 points for overall effectiveness
This scores impression and effect.
This contest can be held anytime from January through May, on a date chosen by the principal or teachers of the participating school.
- Informational brochure for students.
- Certificates for all participants.
- Gold-plated pins and trophies for top contestants.
- Plaque for schools and winners at each school.
- Appreciation gifts for judges, timer and contact person.
- Packet of information for contact person.
- A minimum of 12 students must participate.
- The contest must be held between Jan. 1 and May 31.
- A request form for supplies must be completed and returned to Modern Woodmen each year.
- Speech content must be each student’s own thoughts and words on the topic, “A person who has overcome.”
- No costumes, visuals or props may be used at the contest. If used, 50 points will be deducted.
- At the school’s discretion, speeches may be memorized or notes may be used, but students must be notified of the decision two weeks before the contest.
- Each speech must be three to five minutes long. Penalty points will be assessed for speeches over or under the time limit.
Complete rules are sent with the contact person’s packet.
How to request
Use our Find a Representative feature or call our home office at (800) 322-9805. If you have used the School Speech Contest before, you can request it online.