Queen's University

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:

76th Andrina McCulloch Public Speaking Competition

Saturday, January 27th in Theological Hall

Grand Prize $1250 
1st runner-up $850
2nd runner-up $500

and the remaining 3 finalists will receive $200 each!

Photo: 2017 winners from left to right -Jeff Mcgilton, Julia Witmer, Fenny Wang, Mark Asfar.  Other Winners not shown - Damien Macedo, Alexandra Sadokierski, Brandon Swann


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.


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

Structure of the Competition

The preliminary rounds will take place at Theological Hall on Saturday, January 27th at 1:00 pm. The final round will take place at 7:00 pm in Theological Hall room 102. Six finalists, whose names will be announced at the completion of the preliminaries, will compete in the finals.

Each competitor will present the compulsory speech. Then there will be a brief break. After the break, the order of competitors will be created randomly. In this new sequence, each competitor will present their original speech (prepared or impromptu).


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


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

Read Our Public Speaking Tip Sheet!

Compulsory Speech

The compulsory speech will be the same for the preliminary and final rounds. Click here to view the compulsory speech & Compulsory Speech Rules

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. Prepared Speech Rules Duration: five to seven minutes

✓ Impromptu - An original speech on a topic selected blindly by the competitor from topics presented by a subcommittee member. Impromptu Speech Rules Preparation Time: five minutes maximum. Duration: three to five minutes

Scoring Details

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. For each panel, the mean of the weighted scores for all competitors judged by that panel will be calculated. A competitor's final score will be expressed as a percentage of the mean weighted score of their panel. 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 the top-scoring competitors from each panel 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!