Speak Up

Speak Up Award Presentation

Valerie Harte receives an award for winning a Speak Up Competition

How good are you at public speaking?

Do you fear standing up and talking in front of a group?  Have you ever been asked to present something you’ve learned to a group of people or present a sales/productivity report to managers at your company?  Have you ever been asked to speak before a public hearing or civic group?

The Speak Up competition is designed to help Jaycees practice and hone their public speaking skills, face their fears, and learn to provide excellent presentation speeches.

The Speak Up competitions are held at the state level twice per year.  Winning contestants are eligible to compete at the national level at the annual meeting of the United States Junior Chamber.

The Speak Up competition is composed of two sections: Prepared & Impromptu.

For the Prepared section of the Speak Up competition, a speech topic is announced by the State organization well in advance of the next state meeting.  Competitors are asked to prepare a 5-7 minute speech on the topic provided and it is usually a good idea to incorporate one’s Jaycees experiences into the speech.

For the Impromptu section of the competition, competitors are given a topic and 60 seconds to prepare themselves to deliver a 3 minute speech on that topic.  Again, it’s generally a good idea to incorporate one’s Jaycees experience(s) into the speech.

In addition to having 2 sections, the Speak Up competition also has two distinct levels: Speak Up and Masters Speak Up.

The Masters Speak Up level is intended for those Jaycees who have served as Local Presidents and State Officers and/or those Jaycees whose careers involve extensive public speaking, performing persuasive speeches/presentations, and or motivational speeches.  Lawyers, Executives, motivational speakers, teachers, group sales professsionals, politicians, etc. could all qualify for the Masters Speak Up category.

The Speak Up level of  competition, sometimes referred to as “Regular” Speak Up involves all other Jaycees.  Local Presidents, State Officers, and National Officers are specifically barred from this level of competition.

Some Jaycees may qualify for participation in either level of Speak Up competition, but cannot compete in both. Competitors should register for whichever level would pose the greatest challenge to them if they are qualified to compete in either.

Chapters may sponsor competitors in the Speak Up competition at the Virginia Jaycees’ State Meetings held in the Spring and Fall of each year.

National Guidelines used for judging the Speak Up Competition can be found here

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