Tips for Oratorical Festival Chairs
Good organization and communication are central to holding a successful Oratorical Festival. Well-organized programs attract larger numbers of participants, thus enhancing the quality of the Festival and providing more young people with the opportunity to learn about and express their Orthodox Faith.
The Holy Resurrection Greek Orthodox Church in Brookville, NY, has held one of the more successful Oratorical Festival programs in our Archdiocese. A key to their success has been excellent organization and ongoing contact between the Festival Chair, Mrs. Vivian Casil, and the speakers, parents, and mentors, judges, and the District, Metropolis, and Archdiocese Chairs.
Below you will find a set of downloadable (pdf) letters and handouts used by the Resurrection parish that you might find helpful as you organize your parish Oratorical Festival. The Department is very grateful to Mrs. Vivian Casil for sharing these materials.
Naturally, encouraging young people to participate in the Festival is the biggest task you will face. Below are some of the handouts used in Brookville, NY, in pdf form.
- Writing Your Speech
- The Writing Process
- Rehearsing Your Speech
- Participants Handout at January Meeting
- Information to No-shows at January Meeting
- Letter after Correcting Speeches
Parents can encourage their sons and daughters to participate. Here are two letters encouraging them to do just that.
Holy Resurrection Church organizes a group of mentors to work with the speakers on their speeches. Mentors can be anyone with good communication, public speaking, and writing skills. Mentors should always be screened before participation for issues of safety and appropriate knowledge. Here are guidelines for mentors.
Here are sample letters for judges.
Many schools record a student’s participation in non-school activities. Here are two letters for guidance counselors verifying the student’s participation in the Oratorical Festival.
Here are sample letters to the District (if applicable), Metropolis, and Archdiocese Chairs for you to send after your festival.