Chicago Oratorical Contest Guidelines (2016-17)
The Competition is open to all students currently enrolled in a program on the Chicago Campus of Northwestern University, including the Feinberg School of Medicine, The Graduate School, the Kellogg School of Management, the Pritzker School of Law, the School of Professional Studies, and Allied Health Programs. Contestants must be available to participate in the oral advocacy competition event on Friday, January 20, 2017 if selected as a finalist, and the Chicago Campus’s MLK Commemoration keynote event on Monday, January 23, 2017 from 12:00-1:00 pm at Hughes Auditorium (if selected as the winner).
The winner will recite his or her oration at the Chicago Campus MLK Commemoration event on January 23, 2017 at Thorne Auditorium. The winner will receive a $500 stipend, the second place finisher will receive a $250 stipend, and the third place finisher will receive a $150 stipend.
To participate in the Competition, you MUST email the YouTube video link of your oration as well as a Microsoft Word version of the oration in essay format to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: CHICAGO CAMPUS MLK ORATORICAL CONTEST SUBMISSION. Submissions are due by 5:00 p.m. on January 10, 2017. For questions, contact email@example.com.
The winner will be selected by a panel of judges during the Oral Advocacy Competition event on January 20, 2017. The selection by the panel is final.
Structure of the Competition
The Competition will be held in two stages: Video & Essay Competition and Oral Advocacy Competition.
- • Stage 1 Video & Essay Competition: Individuals from various disciplines across the Chicago Campus will be chosen to judge the video and essay component of the competition. The judges will assess the video and essay in advance of the Oral Advocacy Competition. The top three video and essay submissions will be selected as finalists in the Oral Advocacy Competition. A link to the video and the oration in essay format must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5:00 p.m. on January 13, 2017. Finalists chosen to participate in the Oral Advocacy Competition will be notified by January 17th, 2017.
- Stage 2 Oral Advocacy Competition: The oral advocacy stage of the Competition will be held on January 20, 2017 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. at a Chicago Campus location that is to be determined. Judges will score the three (3) finalists on their oral presentation and essay. Audience members also will have an opportunity to vote on the oral presentations. The winner of the audience vote will have five (5) points added to his or her score, the second place winner of the audience vote will receive an additional three (3) points, and the third place winner of the audience vote will receive an additional one (1) point.
- "In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." -Martin Luther King Jr.
- What do you believe King meant by this statement and what does this statement mean to you as a graduate or professional student at Northwestern University now, particularly in the context of today's society?
- The video should be no more than 5 minutes.
- The video should be a delivery of your submitted essay—props are prohibited.
- The video must be sent electronically in YouTube format to email@example.com.
- The essay should be no longer than 1,000 words.
- The type font must be Arial, 12 point, double-spaced.
- The margins must be 1" and text must be fully justified.
- The essay must be sent electronically in a MS Word document format to firstname.lastname@example.org..
General Competition Rules
Assessment of Essays
Essays will be evaluated according to six categories: (a) quality, (b) content, (c) persuasiveness, (d) style, (e) organization, and (f) creativity. The maximum number of points each contestant may receive per category is five points for his or her essay and five points for his or her oral presentation, for a maximum total of thirty points for the entire essay and thirty points for the entire oral presentation.
The Essay Question
The speaker must incorporate the topic and/or answer the essay question. It should not be recited verbatim. Failure to incorporate the topic and/or answer the essay question will result in points being deducted.
The speaker is prohibited from using any props. Any use of props will result in points being deducted but the speaker may use notes.
The oral presentation must be a minimum of three minutes and a maximum of five minutes. An oral presentation outside of this timeframe will result in points being deducted.
- 0 - the essay does not express any element of the criterion
- 1- the essay marginally expresses this criterion
- 2 - the essay adequately expresses this criterion
- 3- the essay competently expresses this criterion
- 4- the essay adeptly captures the criterion
- 5- the essay masterly expresses this criterion
Assessment of Oral Presentations
Oral presentations will be evaluated according to six categories: (a) quality, (b) content, (c) persuasiveness, (d) style, (e) organization, and (f) creativity. The maximum number of points each competitor may receive per category is five points for a maximum total of thirty points for the entire oral presentation. Audience members also will have an opportunity to vote on the oral presentations. The winner of the audience vote will have five (5) points added to his or her score, the second place winner of the audience vote will receive an additional three (3) points, and the third place winner of the audience vote will receive an additional one (1) point.
Well prepared arguments that are clear and makes the presentation interesting.
The body of the presentation is complete: it includes all information needed to persuade listeners of the validity of the argument. This argument and its claims are well supported by the appropriate data.
The presenter speaks clearly, loudly, and at an effective pace and advocates for the presenter's position; and the presenter speaks with the naturalness that enables the presenter to vary tone, pitch, and emphasis and to use their voice to emphasize important language and ideas. Verbal distractions - mispronunciation, filler sounds and words (“ums,” “uhs,” “okays” and “you knows”) are minimal or non-existent.
Good eye contact enables the presenter to connect with the audience. Gestures are natural, appropriate, and confident and underscore the presenter's message. Presenter keeps to the time limit and spends appropriate amounts of time on individual arguments. Each presentation must be a minimum of three minutes and a maximum of five minutes. A presentation outside of this timeframe is required to have points being deducted. (Please note that we will be keeping track of the time to ensure contestants meet the time requirements).
The presentation is structured to aid the listener’s retention: it provides a brief overview of what will be covered in the introduction; foreshadows what’s coming next; uses bridging between chunks of the talk; uses backtracking to review what's been covered; and closes by summarizing the main points.
- Uses unusual phrases, quotes or analogies to make arguments more persuasive.
- Scoring is the same as the essay portion.
The final contest will be judged by a minimum of three judges. The same judges will review contestants' essays and their oral presentation. Judges will render their final decisions independently of one another and without consulting with other individuals. The decision of the judges as certified by the tabulators is final.
Tabulators will be responsible for reviewing the judges’ score cards to be certain they are fully tabulated and signed before being submitted for final tabulation. The scorecards will not be revealed to anyone at the site of the contest.