MLK Oratorical Contest Guidelines (2016-17)
*Please note that the Evanston and Chicago campus contests have been combined. The Contest will take place on Friday, January 20th at noon in Rubloff 150, Aspen Hall (375 E Chicago Ave) on the Chicago campus. The Evanston event has been canceled.*
The MLK Commemoration Committee invites submissions for the 2016-17 student oratorical contest! All Evanston campus students (undergraduate, graduate and professional) are encouraged to submit a 3-5 minute video speech in response to the above prompt. One undergraduate and one graduate/professional student will be selected as winners.
- “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” -Desmond Tutu
- How do you interpret Tutu’s statement? How can it connect to Northwestern, and how can you apply it in the context of today’s society?
- An invitation to dinner at President Schapiro's house in honor of the 2017 keynote speaker
- The opportunity to meet the 2017 MLK Commemoration keynote speaker
- A professional recording of your speech displayed on the MLK website
- Your printed speech displayed in the Norris Galleria with past winners
- Must be a current Northwestern undergraduate or graduate/professional student whose main campus is Evanston.
- If selected as finalist: Must be available to participate in the oral advocacy competition event.
To participate in the Competition, you MUST email a YouTube video link of your oration to a firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: MLK ORATORICAL CONTEST SUBMISSION. Submissions are due on January 9th, 2017. For questions or assistance with your YouTube video, contact email@example.com
The selection of the winners will be done by a panel of 3 judges during the Oral Advocacy Competition event on January 19th, 2017. The selection by the panel is final.
Structure of the Competition
The Competition will be held in two stages: Video Competition and Oral Advocacy Competition.
- Stage 1 Video Competition: Individuals from various fields across the university will be chosen to judge the video component of the competition. The judges will assess the video in advance of the Oral Advocacy Competition. The top three video submissions for each student category (undergraduate and graduate/professional) will be selected as finalists in the Oral Advocacy Competition. Video submissions must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 9th, 2017. Finalists chosen to participate in the Oral Advocacy Competition will be notified by January 13th, 2017.
- Stage 2 Oral Advocacy Competition: Judges will score the three finalists on their oral presentation.
- The speech/video should be between 3-5 minutes.
- The video must be sent electronically in YouTube format to email@example.com.
General Competition Rules
Timing: 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.
- The speaker is prohibited from using any props.
- Any use of props will result in points being deducted but the speaker may use notes.
Assessment of Oral Presentations
Oral presentations will be evaluated according to six categories:
|Quality||Well prepared arguments that are clear and makes the presentation interesting.|
|Content||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.|
|Persuasiveness||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 - filler sounds and words (“ums,” “uhs,” “okays” and “you knows”) are minimal or non-existent.|
|Style||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.|
|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.|
|Creativity||Uses unusual phrases, quotes or analogies to make arguments more persuasive.|
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.
The final contest will be judged by a minimum of three judges. 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.