Youth Speaker's Tournament

is designed to challenge teenagers to express their faith verbally. Youth grow spiritually when engaged in the research, study, prayer and practice of preparing a speech. Speakers will be ready to stand for Christ in church, school, community and work.


Youth Speakers' Tournament is for youth in grades 10-12 who are active members of a cooperating Baptist State Convention of North Carolina church; no exceptions are made to this requirement. Youth may participate in either/both the Speakers' Tournament and High School Bible Drill in a given year, presenting an original speech based on a topic from the list that year. A church may send any speaker with a score of 180 to the association tournament. An association may send only one speaker to represent the association at the state tournament. The state winner from each state location will be invited to the state finalist tournament.

Finalist Tournament

The Finalist Youth Speakers Tournament selects the speaker who will represent North Carolina at the National Youth Speakers Invitational sponsored by the Southeastern Discipleship Group of cooperating Baptist state conventions. The winner of the Finalist Youth Speakers Tournament may not participate in future Finalist Youth Speakers Tournaments. Only those finalists prepared, if they are the winner, to represent North Carolina at the National Youth Speakers' Tournament should attend the Finalist Tournament. Locations are announced in January each year. The finalist state winner will be awarded a $2,500.00 scholarship to any college of their choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find information or suggestions for a coach to ensure the candidate is ready?
Encourage youth to decide on a topic and discuss what it says to them. Develop the speech not so much as a personal testimony, but as informational and inspirational. Scripture is always well received if used as it pertains to what the speaker is attempting to communicate to the listeners.

How should quotes and research be credited?
The youth should research the topic well and have references for their research. They need to document quotes and acknowledge the source in the speech. A bibliography is required. In the body of the speech one might make reference to the quote in a conversational manner.

How much does the written speech count in the tournament?
Twenty percent of the score is the written composition. Eighty percent is given for speech delivery. The speech must be original and the work of the student. Advice is acceptable from the leader, pastor or teacher, but the speech must be written by the student. See the NC Speakers' Tournament Leader's Manual for more details.

How can I help my youth speakers prepare to give their speech?
After the written speech is satisfactory to the speaker, they must practice, practice, practice. Share the speech as many times as possible. Present the speech to deacon groups, Wednesday night prayer meeting groups, Sunday night discipleship classes, youth groups, Sunday School classes, civic groups or other churches.

Do youth stand before a podium or use a microphone?
North Carolina state tournaments do not allow the use of a microphone. Help youth deliver the speech by practicing projecting their voice to those sitting in the back of the room. Be mindful that this is not to be an overly dramatic presentation or monologue that entertains, but is instead a speech that inspires and uplifts the listener. Too much dramatizing, or a monotone speech, can be distracting to the listener. Experience will help the speaker feel more at ease during the tournament and also help them with memory, posture and delivery style.

More Information

Deborah Robson  /  /  (800) 395-5102 ext. 5652
Lauren McCall  /  /  (800) 395-5102 ext. 5628