2020 Optimist Oratorical Contest Held

From left are Emma Abers, Abby Beach, Max Bollman and Barbi Price, Jamestown High School public speaking teacher.

The 2020 Optimist Oratorical Contest was recently held at the Winifred Crawford Dibert Boys and Girls Club.

Jamestown High School senior Abby Beach won first place, JHS senior Max Bollman placed second and sophomore Emma Abers came in third.

The topic for this year’s speech was: “Just Imagine A World Without Boundaries” and each four to five-minute speech had to be memorized. All are students in Barbi Price’s College Level Public Speaking class at JHS.

“The Optimist Oratorical Contest was eye-opening because it made me think about the prompt and answer it in a way that it applicable to my life,” Beach said. “Although I have always been comfortable performing on stage, Public Speaking has taught me how to speak well in front of an audience. I am eager to continue improving every time I give this speech and thankful for the opportunity to do so on so many different platforms.”

Beach, Bollman and Price will travel to Lockport in March to compete at the “zone” level. The ultimate prize is a $22,000 college scholarship.

“Public speaking has allowed me to express myself in a way I never thought I could,” Bollman said. “I am so honored that I was able to use those skills in such a productive way at the Optimist Oratorical competition.”

Beach continued, “Public speaking has taught me to think more quickly on my feet and given me tools that I can use throughout my life.”

“Participating in this oratorical competition gives my students another chance to craft, memorize, and deliver speeches before a panel of objective evaluators,” Price said. “It’s a valuable “real life” experience, and the students from JHS comported themselves beautifully. The judges commented on the difficulty of deciding the winners because all of our students were so poised, prepared, and polished!”

“Competing in the Optimist Oratorical contest was nerve-wrecking but fun,” Abers said. “The prompt allowed me think about having a positive mindset and a different outlook on the world. Public Speaking is such an important skill to have because it’s applicable in so many aspects of life.”


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