The Theodore Roosevelt Institute at Long Island University is partnering with the Theodore Roosevelt Association to present the 2021 Theodore Roosevelt Public Speaking Contest.

The top 25 semifinalists will be selected. A rubric will be developed to ensure academic integrity. The judging panel will choose 10 finalists who will be invited through Zoom for panel judging.


Why Theodore Roosevelt matters in the 21st century?


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• Speeches should be original. However, consultation with teachers, coaches or Theodore Roosevelt Association members is encouraged.

• The content of the speech is restricted to the pre-determined topic identified in these rules and guidelines.

• Speeches should be memorized; however, students may glance at a single note card during their presentations. Speeches may not be read in the entirety from a manuscript or notes.

• Speeches should be approximately four minutes in duration.

• The decisions of the judges are final.


• Video: Entry must include a video of the speech delivered by the entrant.

• The entrant will state his or her name and high school name prior to delivering the speech in their video.

• The presentation of the speech must be in English.

• Entrant must be in their junior or senior year of high school.

• Entrant must appear in the entry. The video should be of a live speech.

• You may only submit one (1) speech video during the submission period.

• Video must be submitted via online submission page

• You will not be able to resubmit your speech after you submit.

• Live-read: If you are selected as a finalist to read your speech via zoom, and you are under the age of 18 at the time you are asked to deliver a live read, a parent or guardian will be required to sign a release form. 

Finals: Finalists and guests must be available to participate in the finals through Zoom on Saturday, April 24, 2021.

Finalists must provide a certification from their high school principal that they are currently enrolled as a junior or senior in good standing.

• Entrant is solely responsible for the entry they submit for the contest.

• Entry may not contain any confidential information.

• Entry must not violate third-party rights, including, but not limited to: copyrights, trademarks, and rights of publicity. Do not use any third-party trademarks, company names, or logos.

• Entry must not include unsuitable content; obscenity; disparagement; defamation; libel threats; pornography; harassment; racial, ethnic, or sexual slurs; other offensive conduct or material, or otherwise include inappropriate or unlawful content, as determined at the Organizer’s sole discretion. All submissions will be moderated and if deemed acceptable will be made viewable to the public for voting.

• Entry must not include or contain advertising or solicitations of business.

• Entry must be an original work, created by the entrant.


The contest offers the following incentives:

• Development of oral communications, research and interdisciplinary skills necessary for civic leadership, social awareness and success in business and professional endeavors;

• A better understanding of issues and events in local and national history;

• Cash prizes as follows: First Prize: $2,500; Second Prize: $1,000; Third Prize: $500;

• Theodore Roosevelt Public Speaking Contest trophy for 10 finalists;

• $10,000 scholarship to Long Island University for 9 finalists, and a $25,000 scholarship to Long Island University for the contest winner