All speeches will be judged blindly, meaning none of the judges will know whose speech they are reading. No one with a graduating senior will be allowed to judge. Scores will be based on content and heart rather than grammar or spelling. Giving a senior speech is an honor and a privilege, and it is our hope that many of you will be compelled to enter the contest. This is your opportunity to bless those who attend with your testimony and experiences with home education.
Students, this is an opportunity for you to inspire your fellow grads and also communicate to your peers, family, and friends what your education has meant to you. This speech should reflect upon your academic and spiritual development through high school. This can be accomplished by discussing future plans, by referring to a Scripture, a piece of literature, or possibly a person of historical note that has influenced you and the decisions you have made. We want to see your creativity and individual voice and perspective in each speech.
Please be sure that your speech is shorter than one and a half minutes when read aloud at a normal speaking pace.
Remember that this is not an Academy Awards speech. Please refrain from saying “thank you” to a list of names. For example: instead of saying, "Thank you Dad, you’re the best. Thank you, Mom, you are the greatest. Thank you, Sis, you’re a lot of fun," give a meaningful example or anecdotal story of why you are thankful. Personal stories and memories make your speech stand apart.
Parents, your student is representing your family and your home school, and it is a huge honor if their speech is selected. Have your student read the speech to you, or another adult if they want their speech to be a surprise, and make sure that it does not go over one and a half minutes in duration when it is read out loud. Students often have a hard time keeping their speeches within the required limit and this is one huge way for you to help them!
When we receive your speech, your name will be removed for the purpose of fair scoring. A diverse panel of judges will then read all submitted speeches and score them for content and heart. No one that is judging will have a senior graduating. Once all speeches have been judged we will tally the scores, and the top speeches will be notified. Please don’t feel that only Speech and Debate students have a chance of winning. That isn’t the case at all; we want to see speeches written by students with a wide variety of backgrounds and academic interests. Show us your spirit and your heart!