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Contest Rules



Date & Time

Round 1

Bond Hall 365

 (The Public Speakibg Lab)

Monday, March 2nd  3:45-5:15 pm

Tuesday, March 3rd  2:15-3:30 pm

Wednesday, March  4th 2:15-3:30 pm

Friday, March 5th  1:15-2:30 pm

Round 2

Bond Hall 365

(The Public Speaking Lab)

Tuesday, Mar 31th  2:15-3:30 pm

Wednesday, April 1st  2:15-3:30 pm


Mark Clark Hall 230

Greater Issues Room

Tuesday, April 7th  5:00 pm

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

  • If a contestant has to come in late or leave early, please let us know via email at If you leave early or arrive late, enter in through Bond 367 and quietly make your way to the Public Speaking Lab from there.
  • 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. Contestants must use the same speech for all 3 rounds (but improvement is encouraged).

  • 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. As a general rule, contestants may not use props.  However, if you find a prop is vital to your speech, contact the lab director to discuss the possibility of allowing for a prop in your speech. 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 Public Speaking Lab (Bond 365) between February 18th and February 22nd. 

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

  • Contestants are welcome to work with the Public Speaking Lab in preparing for their speeches. To make an appointment, send an email to

  • 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 Tuesday, April 7th at 5:00 pm. 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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