2017 Oratorical Topic:
' What the World Gains from Optimism'

Scholarship Amount: $2500

Number Awarded: up to three (ranging from $2500 to $1000)

Who is Eligible: Any student under 18 years old.

Important Dates:

  • April 1, 2017 (Saturday) – deadline to enter (application must be RECEIVED by this date, so send it sooner. You may give us the text of your speech as late as the day of the contest. Make sure you bring a birth certificate to the contest.
  • April 4, 2017 (Tuesday) – Club Level Speeches (community room Oviedo Mall in front of 3 judges)
  • TBD (Saturday) – Zone Level Speeches (Oviedo Mall Community Room)
  • TBD (Saturday) – Regional Level Speeches (Oviedo Mall Community Room)
  • TBD (Saturday) – District Level Speeches (bigger still, location in Cape Canaveral)
  • Download the Official packet here: 2016 -2017 Optimist Speech Contest Packet

    *Only the top student of each gender will progress to the next level. Each person who submits an application WILL need to plan on making a speech TBD at the Oviedo Mall Community Room. The person who wins at the district level wins a $2500 scholarship, and there are other cash awards as well (ranging from $1000 to $1500).

    HOW TO ENTER (an oversimplified version)

    1. Submit the application form April 1, 2017(e-mail is ok, but we need a signature, so bring your actual form to the contest if you haven’t mailed it in prior to then)
    2. Write a speech on the official topic that is no shorter than 4 minutes and no longer than 5 minutes
    3. Deliver that speech in front of a 3 judges on TBD for your chance to win

    * Read the Official Rules for lots more details


    • What are my odds of winning? Depends on how many people enter. It is not possible for more than 120 people to enter, and at least 2 win $2500 each.
    • What is a “Zone” and “District”? Optimists International is an alliance of service clubs scattered all across the world. To help clubs partner together better, the powers that be grouped clubs geographically, sort of how we have cities, states, countries, and continents. In the Optimist World, we have clubs, zones, districts, states within the parent organization.
    • Do I have to pass a preliminary round at my school or get “endorsed”? No. If you sign up and follow all the rules, you can go for the prize entirely on your own steam and inspiration.
    • Can I talk about anything I want? Yes – but if you want to have a shot at winning, figure out how to tie it into the official topic.

    QUESTIONS? Shari Pudles / 407.484.2455