Optional Coolidge Cup Declamation Contest

For the first time, we are running a special declamation contest alongside the Coolidge Cup next week. The declamation contest is an optional, additional contest open ONLY to the students who are competing in the Coolidge Cup. Keep reading below for details.

What do I have to do?
In this contest you will record yourself on video declaiming (i.e., reading / delivering) an excerpt of a speech by President Coolidge.

Which speeches can I choose from?
Choose one speech from the 2020 Coolidge Cup Declamation Speech Packet. There are three speech excerpts in that packet for you. Read through them all and think about which one is most interesting or most special to you. You are not expected to memorize the speech, but we do recommend that you read it and practice it several times so that you at least become familiar with it and can deliver it smoothly.

How do I enter?
It’s simple. Pick a speech from the packet and record yourself reading it. Upload your video to whichever video platform you prefer (YouTube, Vimeo, your Google drive, etc.). Then go to this page and fill out the entry form below, which asks you for the link to your video.

When is the deadline?
The deadline to get your entry submitted is Saturday, July 4th at 11:59 PM ET.

Are there any other rules or guidance?
If you wish to make a brief introduction explaining why you chose a particular speech, you may do so, but that is not required. We do recommend that you dress in a professional manner, as you would for a typical debate round.

How and when will the videos be scored?
Our team of judges will review each entry and score them based on conventional delivery-related elements including voice, posture, clarity, eye contact, and gestures. You do not need to attempt to do an impersonation of President Coolidge. We’re looking for you to connect personally with the text. It will take us about 2 weeks to score all the videos. We will announce the winners in mid-July.

What are the prizes?
For the declamation contest, 1st place is $1,000. 2nd: $400. 3rd: $300. 4th: $200. 5th-10th place finishers each receive $100. The prizes for the declamation contest are completely separate from the prizes for the Coolidge Cup. If you do well enough to win a prize in the Coolidge Cup, you can still win a prize in the declamation contest. Likewise, even if you don’t make it very far in the Coolidge Cup, you can still win a prize in the declamation contest.


Entry Form for the Declamation Contest

  • You may use YouTube, Vimeo, or any other similar video platform. Make sure that we can access it via the link you provide, and that it doesn't require a password.