Queen's University

The 78th Andrina McCullough

Public Speaking Competition

has been postponed until Fall 2020. 


Dan School of Drama and Music, in association with the Provost Advisory Committee for the Performing Arts, The Smith School of Business, and the Faculty of Law, presents:

78th Andrina McCulloch Public Speaking Competition


Prize pool: over $3500

First place winner: $1400


Preliminary Round - March 18, 2020 

Final Round - March 19, 2020 


Theological Hall, Queen’s University


All Queen’s students are eligible to enter. To register, please send an email with your name, contact information, and your faculty/department to public.speaking @queensu.ca. Registration will close on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 at midnight.

Registration is limited. Once registration is full additional registrants will be placed on a waiting list in order of receipt of their applications.

Read Our Public Speaking Tip Sheet!


Andrew McCulloch (BA 1871, MA 1874) died at Thorold, Ontario in 1929. In his will, he bequeathed to Queen's University a number of valuable securities. He directed that the income from these securities be used, in perpetuity, to fund three awards, each to honour one of his three daughters. The Andrina McCulloch Award was first given in 1941 and is still presented annually for the promotion and encouragement of public speaking at Queen's.


The Andrina McCulloch Competition welcomes public attendance. Competitors are therefore encouraged to invite family and friends to hear them speak.

Structure of the Competition:

Each competitor will present two speeches, 1) the compulsory speech which will be provided, and either 2) an original speech or an impromptu speech. After a short intermission, the order of competitors will be randomly changed.  In this new sequence, each competitor will then present their next speech, either prepared or impromptu.

  1. Compulsory Speech 

The compulsory speech which will be the same for the preliminary and final rounds (link available January 2020).

Click here to download the compulsory speech for 2020.

  1. Original Speech

The original speech categories are:

  • Prepared – An original speech on a topic, chosen, prepared and delivered by the competitor, which may be informative or persuasive in style. Duration: five to seven minutes
  • Impromptu – An original speech on a topic selected blindly by the competitor from topics available at the competition. Preparation time: five minutes maximum. Duration: three to five minutes.


Any student who withdraws on the day of the competition or who does not show up will be disqualified from competing for one year. To withdraw, please email competition organizers at public.speaking@queensu.ca


Each presentation will be assessed by a panel of three judges. A competitor’s score will be a weighted average of the three judges’ marks. The highest and lowest marks will be assigned a weight of one-quarter, the middle mark a weight of one-half. In each competition, a competitor’s total score will be the sum of the weighted scores of the original presentation and the compulsory presentation. The original speech will be weighted two-thirds, the compulsory one-third.

The finalists will be announced at the end of the preliminary competition. The top-scoring competitor from each panel of three judges in the preliminaries and, depending on the number of panels, the next highest-scoring competitors to a total of six. Ties will be broken by a comparison of the compulsory presentations.

Scores will be confidential and final. Judges will be available, however, for informal discussion with interested participants following each evening’s sessions.

Questions? Get in touch!