Free public speaking workshop for students set Feb. 22

Sussex Optimists’ oratorical contest registration due Feb. 28
February 17, 2020

The Optimist Club of Sussex County is encouraging Sussex County students to speak their minds about the topic Just Imagine a World Without Boundaries, as part of the Optimist International Oratorical Contest for the 2019-20 year.

Open to students in Sussex County under the age of 19 as of Oct.1, 2019, the contest will begin with check-in at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, March 14, at the Georgetown Public Library. The registration deadline is Friday, Feb. 28.

To obtain the application and guidelines, students may see their local school guidance counselors or go to

Students will prepare a 4- to 5-minute speech on the assigned topic, which will be judged on content and presentation using guidelines found on the application. Student applications may be given to the school representative or sent to

Oratorical contest winners at the club level will receive medallions and monetary awards at an awards dinner in April. The winning speaker will be sent to the zone level. Winners at the zone level can possibly advance to the district and regional levels for the opportunity to win college scholarships. Winners of the regional contests will compete in the world championship at St. Louis University in Missouri.

To prepare for the contest, students may register for a free public speaking workshop being offered by communications specialist Richard Kaplan from 10 to 11 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 22, at the Lewes Public Library. To register, email

During its first year as a club sponsoring the oratorical contest, local organizers said they felt honored that a student at Cape Henlopen High won at the local, zone and district levels, and continued to compete at the world championship.

By providing hope and positive vision, Optimists focus on “Bringing out the best in youth, in communities and in ourselves.” Optimists conduct positive service projects that reach more than 6 million young people each year.

For more information, email or go to