The Citadel

The Military College of South Carolina


Contest Rules

  • Any cadet is eligible to compete by filling out an entry form on the Oral Communications Lab website.

  • Contestants will give a 5-7 minute speech on any topic. The speech should be informational, persuasive or inspirational. Speeches may contain humor, but speeches that are primarily humorous will not be considered.

  • All speeches should be original. Quotations used should be attributed to the original author.

  • Time is important. Contestants who speak less than 4:30 or more than 7:30 will be disqualified. During the contest, a timer will have a light to indicate to the contestant the 5-minute, 6-minute and 7-minute mark. Contestants will not have to worry about keeping track of their own time.

  • Speakers may not use PowerPoint, Prezi or other electronic presentation programs. Contestants may use props but the emphasis should be on the cadet's ability to communicate without the aid of electronic devices. Contestants may use notes if necessary.

  • All contestants will compete in a preliminary round and five contestants will be selected to compete for the graduation award and prize money. Contestants will be placed in preliminary rounds based on their schedules and the availability of judges.

  • Preliminary competition will take place in the Oral Communications Lab (Bond 365) between February 14th and February 17th.

  • Contestants who advance to the final round will use the same speech. The finalists are required to record their speeches in the Oral Communications Lab prior to the final competition. These speeches will be used for our archives and for use on the OCL website.

  • Contestants are welcome to work with the Oral Communications Lab in preparing for their speeches. To make an appointment, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

  • Judges for the preliminary round will come from The Citadel faculty and staff. Care will be taken to arrange the competition so that judges in each setting will not be well known to the cadets who are competing.

  • The final competition will be held on April 4th and 5th (Subject to change). Judges for the final competition will be from off campus and will be people who have experience and knowledge of excellent public speaking.

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