Hal R. Ramer Oratorical Contest

Every year at Volunteer State Community College, Communication Studies has the honor of presenting the Hal Ramer Speech Contest. Dr. Hal Ramer was the founding president of VSCC. The contest was named in his honor to celebrate the achievements of students who share a passion for public speaking. The contest recognizes the outstanding public speaking skills of the VSCC students - the contest is known for incorporating theories learned in the classroom and applied during the competition. The contest is presented each spring at VSCC - this contest is a way of fostering a sense of community among the students, faculty, administrators, community members as well as staff at VSCC.

Official Rules


  • Any currently enrolled VSCC student, full-time or part-time, may participate in the contest.
  • The Communication Studies Faculty may nominate students to participate in the contest.
  • Any currently enrolled student, regardless of major, may participate in the contest.
  • Previous contest winners may participate in this year's contest.



  • Speeches should be 5 to 8 minutes in length. A speech more than 9 minutes in length will be disqualified. If a speech is less than 5 minutes the judges will use their discretion concerning eligibility for rewards.
  • Speech topics should be serious and worthwhile and must be selected by the students. (Humor is allowed.)
  • The speech must be an original speech.
  • Students must be prepared to provide the sources of information used in their speeches. A bibliography is required and must be attached to the outline.
  • Speaking order will be determined by drawing numbers.

Preliminary Contest

  • If many students desire to compete, a preliminary round may be conducted to select final round contestants. The decision to have or not have a preliminary round will be made by the Communication Faculty.
  • The VSCC speech Communication Studies Faculty will judge the preliminary round if they decide it is necessary to narrow the field of contestants.
  • The rules in #1, #2 and #3 also apply to the preliminary round.

Final Contest

  • The contest is held each spring semester.
  • Each contestant speaks one time
  • Contestants must use the same speech presented during the preliminary round
  • Judges will be professionals from on and off-campus
  • Winners will be announced immediately following the contest
  • All rules listed above apply to the final contest


  • First Place - $100 cash and wall plaque
  • Second Place - $75 cash and wall plaque
  • Third Place - $50 cash and wall plaque

The decisions of the judges will be final.

Registration Form