Liam Hallowell, now in 8th Grade, delivers his Declamation at the 15th Annual Forward in the Faith Gala benefiting Regina Angelorum Academy in May 2022.

Each year at Regina Angelorum Academy, students participate in our annual Declamation competition. Declamation is the “art of speaking.”  In class and during after-school activities, students at RAA learn and practice how to give speeches: the art of public speaking. In addition,  students select a poem, narration, or speech to memorize each year, beginning in 3rd grade, and enter into the Regina Academies Declamation Competition. Each of the Regina Academies’ schools holds its own contest and then the winners from each academy come together from all of the schools to compete against one another.

Categories and Length

There are three categories and lengths for this competition:

  • Poetry (Grades 3 and 4): Minimum of 1 1/2 minutes and not to exceed 2 minutes
  • Prose | Narratives and poems without a rhyme scheme (Grades 5 and 6): Minimum of 2 minutes and not to exceed 2 1/2 minutes
  • Orations | Speeches or plays (Grades 7 and 8): Minimum of 3 minutes and not to exceed 3 1/2 minutes


Pieces must:

  • Be “classical” in nature – enduring themes of what is true, good, and beautiful
  • Be new and not previously memorized or recited for a prior declamation contest
  • Include a 10-20 second memorized introduction including naming the work and the author

When preparing their declamation piece, students have many areas to consider during preparation. While the timing and piece selection are important, there are other key ingredients for delivering a strong declamation.

Declamation Judgment Criteria

Presentation Style

The speaker should convey the message in a sincere, honest, and realistic attempt to recreate the spirit of the original presentation. Although the style of delivery chosen by the speaker should be judged in light of the purpose of the speech, artificiality is to be discredited. The message should be conveyed credibly and convincingly as if the words were the speaker’s own. This event is an interpretation, not
an impersonation.

Vocal Delivery

The speaker should:

  • Be articulate and fluent.
  • Make use of contrast, making use of the elements of vocal variety: pitch, volume, rate, pausing, phrasing, stress, and tone.
  • Be conversational and concerned, passionate, and pleasing.
  • Be in control of the words and the emotions.
  • Sound confident and self-assured, and seem eager to enlighten the audience.
  • Should convey the message in a sincere, honest, and realistic style, in an attempt to recreate the spirit of the original presentation.

Physical Delivery

The speaker should:

  • Be physically open to the audience and use body language that invites the audience into the world of the declaimer.
  • Vary facial expressions to accentuate the natural flow of thoughts and feelings.
  • Make eye contact with the audience.
  • Have an erect and controlled stance without distracting movements. Gestures should be visible, effectively used for emphasis, and varied.
  • Be stationary during the delivery of the piece to declaim the piece by using the voice and not acting. The only exception is that the declaimer may move to denote a different speaker in the piece.

Overall Effect

The speaker should project an understanding of the message of the piece and instill in the audience a concern for the content of the piece. The original message of the piece should not be overshadowed by the delivery.

Degree of Difficulty

The difficulty of the piece will be weighed.

We are enthusiastic about this year’s declaimers in 3rd through 8th grades.  We wish them joy and fortitude as they prepare their pieces for this year’s competition.