Oratorical Contest

Oratorical ContestAs Optimist International’s oldest program, this contest allows young students to gain experience in public speaking and to compete for scholarship awards.

Entrants must be under the age of 19 prior to December 31 of the club year, must not yet have graduated from high school or the equivalent, and must be educated in the United States, Canada or the Caribbean.

Each applicant is required to give a 4- to 5-minute speech on the assigned topic. Club winners progress to the Zone level, then to the District-Regional level and then to the OI World level.

Topic for 2019–2020

Just iMagine a World without Boundaries

Deadline for entry into the Timonium Club contest is Feb. 21, 2020.

Registration form for the 2019-2020 Oratorical contest »

Club chairperson is Jocelyn McCausland. For more information, Contact the Club. .

  • Club contest: 6:00 p.m., Mon., March 30, 2020 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church (Spangler Hall), Lutherville, MD
  • Zone contest: 6:30 p.m., Tues., April 7, 2020 at Hereford Branch, BCPL, Hereford, MD
  • District contest: April 25, 2020 at the Carousel Hotel, Ocean City, MD; 11:30 a.m., Lunch for contestants; 1:00 p.m., Contest
  • World competition: Info coming soon!


  • Club level: Medallion and advancement to the Zone competition for the winner
  • Zone level: Plaque and advancement to the District competition for the winner
  • District level: Plaque and a $2,500 scholarship for the top speaker
  • Regional level: Competition for a $5000 scholarship
  • World level: Competition for three scholarships -$15,000, $10,000, $5,000

Contest for 2018–2019

Topic:  “Is There a Fine Line Between Optimism and Reality?”

Contest for 2017–2018

Topic:  “Where Are My Roots of Optimism?”

Winners from 2017-18: At the Timonium Optimist club competition in March 2018, five boys and seven girls competed in their gender groups. The three winners in each group were:

  • 1st: Jack Sullivan, St. Joseph School
  • 2nd: Xavier Goodall , St. Pius X School
  • 3rd: Gannon Durkin, St. Pius X School
  • 1st:  Hannah Winkler, St. Joseph School
  • 2nd: Alexandria Epstein, St. Pius X School
  • 3rd:  Peyton Byrd, St. Joseph School

Jack and Hannah represented our club at the Zone competition. Jack came in first for Zone boys and went on to the contest in Ocean City. Hannah came in second for Zone girls.

Also participating


  • Charlie Smith   (St. Joseph’s)     
  • Sto Sullivan   (St. Joseph’s)


  • Caroline Cole   (St. Joseph’s)
  • Anisa Barfield   (St. Pius) 
  • Asia Minor   (St. Pius)
  • Liliana Terranova   (St. Pius)

Teacher Advisor:

  • Libby Gambo   (St. Joseph’s)           
  • Meghan Fennessy   (St. Pius)


  • Jim Book
  • Angie Hammond
  • Joe Janovski


  • Skip Sheeler