March 29, 2013

Looking for contestants? Make your program look like fun

Thirty-two students participated in the Prior Lake Optimist Club Oratorical Contest. I think that is awesome!

Prior Lake, Minnesota is a community approximately 20 miles southwest of St. Paul with a population of approximately 23,000 people. I've heard of much larger communities that have trouble getting three or four students to participate in the Optimist International Oratorical Contest. Teachers and advisors often say that the students are too busy or that the award ($2,500) isn't enough to inspire their students.

I think that as Optimist Clubs we need to be more inspirational on our own. We need to appeal to the students where they are most likely to notice. Facebook and Twitter must be in the mix, and for the greatest appeal, head on over to YouTube and upload a video that makes the contest look fun. Talking heads droning on about "Why my voice is important" is not fun. But short snippets from students, filmed at locations that matter to them, might be. Use your imagination, be creative and inviting, and you'll find that students are more interested in your program.
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