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Statewide speech contest

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The annual statewide speech contest is set for Saturday, March 18th, 2023 from 2-4 PM. Winners will present their speeches at the annual Statewide Graduation! Think you have what it takes? Apply now!

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Submissions for the annual statewide speech contest are free and contestants must already be registered to attend the Indiana Statewide Graduation.

Judging will take place on Saturday, March 18th, 2023!  Deadline to apply is Saturday, March 11th. 

Note: You must also be registered for Statewide Graduation by March 11th to participate

the judges

Our contest chairperson, Marilyn Rowlett, has many years experience with speech and debate. She is acting as the IFHS representative and Mistress of Ceremonies for this contest. A Judging Committee will be appointed from experienced speech coaches in the Indianapolis area (Toastmasters, local teachers, professors, etc.).


speech length

Your speech must be 600-900 words, or 5-7 minutes when delivered. Note that the average person speaks at about 150 words per minute.


The speeches are to be about something that has inspired you. Some examples might include how you were inspired to:

  • Improve in any area of your life

  • Be a better citizen

  • Appreciate those around you

  • Choose a certain career

  • Be a better person

Ideally, you will be able to tie these into the homeschooling experience in some way.  These are not to be sermons given to a congregation. You are using your experience to give a graduation speech that may inspire your fellow graduates and their families.


Speeches will be judged according to the following criteria:

  • Speech Development - Structure, Organization, Support Material  

  • Effectiveness - Achievement of Purpose, Interest, Reception  

  • Speech Value - Ideas, Logic, and Original Thought

  • Physical - Appearance, Body Language  

  • Dress- Dress for this speech contest is to be professional, not casual  

  • Voice - Flexibility, Volume  

  • Manner - Directness, Assurance, Enthusiasm  

  • Appropriateness - To Speech Purpose and Audience  

  • Correctness – Grammar, Pronunciation, Word Selection.

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