“What the World Gains from Optimism.”

The Optimist Oratorical Contest gives youngsters the chance to speak to the world. More than $150,000 in college scholarships funded by the Optimist International Foundations is awarded annually from this program. First conducted in 1928, this is the second most popular Optimist International Program. Nearly 2,000 clubs participate in this program each year.

The winners at the Club level receive medallions and Zone winners receive a plaque.

At the District level two $2,500 scholarships are awarded, one to the boy winner and one to the girl winner.


The contest is open to students under the age of 18 as of October 1, 2016. Contestants must be educated in the United States, Canada or the Caribbean. There is no minimum age.

How To Enter:

Interested students submit a speech on the pre-assigned topic to their local Optimist Club. To find out the contact in your area, please e-mail the AL-MS District Oratorical Chair at oratorical@amoptimists.org

For an application with contest rules, click here. The application must be submitted to the sponsoring Optimist Club.