Speaking Contest

The Public Speaking Contest, part of the Legion's Youth and Education program, is meant to give young people an opportunity to speak in public. The individual chooses their own subject matter for the address.

When is the contest held?

The contest date is set by each branch, and is normally in the early part the year. The contest progresses through zone, district and area levels, concluding at the Provincial level in May of each year.

Dates for the contests at Branch, Zone, and District level should be established by the respective chairmen in September of each year, with careful selection being given to ensure that the contests at the various levels are not held on holiday weekends, school breaks, etc. The deadline date for the area contests will be at least two weeks prior to the Provincial Contest which is held on the 1st Saturday in May.


The contestants are divided into four classes:

Grades 1 - 3 Grades 4 - 6 Grades 7 - 9 Grades 10 - 12

Rules and Regulations 

  1. The speakers may select their own topics. Participants in the Primary Category (Grades 1 - 3) may select their own topic or story. Speeches are to be the original work of the speaker. The speaker will credit authors and sources of material, if referring to another person's work. Speeches that repeat verbatim another person's original work will not be accepted. If a Primary Speaker (Grades 1 - 3) is retelling a published story or work, this speaker MUST provide a copy of the original work to the Chairman at the time of the competition.
  2. Visual aids, props, notes, cue cards, lecterns, etc., may be used to support the speech, notwithstanding the fact that judges may add or subtract marks according to the manner in which they are used.  
  3. Speakers will not be allowed to use "Power Point" as a method of presentation or as a tool during presentation.  
  4. The assistance of persons other than the Chairman or his appointee is not permitted at any level of the contest.  
  5. English and French speakers will compete within the same contest at all levels. Bilingual judges must be used when necessary. Speakers must compete in English or French and must continue to speak in their chosen language throughout all levels of the competition.  
  6. The speakers must progress through all levels of the competition: Branch, Zone, District, Area and Provincial, using the same speech.  
  7. A penalty of 5% of the total marks received shall be imposed to a speech that is either short or in excess of the time limit for that level, before the total scores are compiled. This penalty will be imposed by the time-keeper and applied by the scrutineers. No penalty will be levied for Grades 1 - 3.  
  8. 8. A penalty of 5% of the total marks received shall be imposed to any contestant who freezes. A contestant who freezes may continue but all speaking time used will count. This penalty will be imposed by the time-keeper and applied by the scrutineers.  
  9. No person, including press photographers, shall photograph or videotape a speaker during the contest.  
  10. A microphone may only be used by a "Special Need" student. This student will require a certificate from a medical practitioner. The Chairman should be informed of the need before the competition begins.  
  11. The provincial public speaking contest will be held on the first Saturday in May, of any given year.  
  12. Speakers may not identify themselves, except by first name, during the contest.  
  13. Contestants who are late for registration without "just cause" will be disqualified from the contest.  
  14. All wall clocks will be covered during the contest.  
  15. All cell phones, pagers and other electronic devices are to be turned off during the competition. Such devices cannot be used for any reason during the contest.  
  16. If you need to leave the room, please do so between speeches or at the break. Do not enter or leave the room during a speech.  
  17. Coaching of any kind from the audience will not be permitted.  
  18. Any violation of the above rules and regulations will result in a penalty being imposed by Ontario Command and may include disqualification from this or any future competitions.  
  19. Judges will render a decision on all speakers without consultation with other judges or any other person and their decision is final.  

Progression to Provincial Competition

Contestants participate at their local branch. Successful contestants from Branch level then participate at zone level. Successful zone level contestants move on to district.

For the purpose of determining Provincial entries, the Province will be divided into four areas and rotated on an area basis, as follows:

Districts "A" and "B" Districts "C" "D" and "E" Districts "F" and "G" Districts "H" and "K"

Provincial The Provincial Finals of the Public Speaking Contest will be held on the first Saturday in May of each year and the area contests are to be completed at least two(2) weeks prior to the Provincial Finals. More information can be found on the Ontario Provincial Command website.


Students who have been out of the educational system for more than two years are ineligible to compete in the Provincial Public Speaking Competition at any level.