Scheduling and how the Festival works

Entering as a individual

Events for individual entrants will be held between Saturday 11 May and Sunday 19 May. Times are given as UTC/BST, so a session advertised as 0800/0900 starts at 0800 Universal Coordinated Time, or 0900 British Summer Time.

Events in red on our category pages: Taking place in the afternoon/evening in Asia and Australasia, and in the morning in Europe and Africa

UTC UK (British Summer Time) Central Europe Saudi Arabia India China Japan Australia (East)
+1 +2 +3 +5:30 +8 +9 +10
0800 0900 1000 1100 1330 1600 1700 1800

Events in blue on our category pages: Taking place in the afternoon/evening in Asia and Australasia, and in the morning in Europe and Africa

USA (Pacific) Peru USA (Eastern) Argentina UTC UK (British Summer Time) Central Europe Saudi Arabia
-7 -5 -4 -3 +1 +2 +3
0900 1100 1200 1300 1600 1700 1800 1900

It’s entrants’ responsibility to ensure you calculate your time difference correctly. Use a website like timeanddate.com to help you check. Remember that, if your country uses a daylight saving time (aka clock change), the time difference from UTC in May may be different from when you book.

Entering as a group

Schools and clubs are encouraged to email entries@oratoryfestival.com or to fill in our online form to schedule your own special group session where each entry costs £10 (£5 less than our individual rate), with a minimum cost per session of £100. For institutions wanting to make over 20 entries, we can work with you to arrange an additional discount.

In previous years, we’ve had everything from a small club of 6 students, to institutions with over 150 entries, maximising participation in oratory from across their school. This year, if you like, we can also try to pair you with another group from a different country.

In any one session, you can enter both different age groups and any mix of categories across either Poetry/Prose/Acting or Public Speaking/News. Sessions longer than an hour can be broken up so each student doesn’t have to be on the Zoom call for too long.

Get ready!

All oratory benefits from reading widely and from thorough research using various media. If you’re reading a poem, read all the options in your category to find the one you like best. You could also read other works by the author you’ve chosen, or other works in a similar genre, to help develop your imagination and feel for words. 

Public speeches and news reports should also be well-informed. Use books, libraries, conversations, and the internet to generate ideas and make sure your speech includes accurate facts and reasoned opinions. If you’re speaking in the Impromptu category, following the news and being widely read increases your all important general knowledge.

All oratory benefits from reading widely and from thorough research using various media. If you’re reading a poem, read all the options in your category to find the one you like best. You could also read other works by the author you’ve chosen, or other works in a similar genre, to help develop your imagination and feel for words. Public speeches and news reports should also be well-informed. Use books, libraries, conversations, and the internet to generate ideas and make sure your speech includes accurate facts and reasoned opinions. If you’re speaking in the Impromptu category, following the news and being widely read increases your all important general knowledge.

You may already have a teacher or coach to help you prepare. You can also visit our website for some handy videos that will help you understand what our judges are looking for, and how to wow your online audience with your oratory.

If you’d like some extra help, you can book one of our Zoom coaching sessions. One of our fun and engaging expert coaches1 will help you practise for your category in a 1-on-1 session, or with a few of your friends. You’ll build your skills, and gain confidence for your Festival performance.

On the day

On the day, you’ll be welcomed to our Zoom by your friendly judge. You can be joined by up to two audience members*. During the session, you’ll deliver your oratory, and you’ll also hear other people speak**. The judges will then give useful and positive spoken feedback.

Prizes and certificates

Each session will have its own winner and the overall category will have gold, silver and bronze awards.  We’ll also award our Jubilee Trophy for the ‘Best in Festival’.

At the end of the festival, we’ll let you know the overall winners, and send you written feedback to help you grow as an orator. You will also receive a beautiful digital certificate, to recognise your achivement.

* You should be the only person on your screen. But we’ll also provide you with a second link for your audience members.
** You will not necessarily see every candidate in your category as there may be multiple sessions.

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