The Optimist Oratorical Contest is conducted every year by Optimist International, with competitions taking place at each local chapter. A male and female participant is selected by school officials at each of the Redlands high schools, based on the merits of speeches they have written on the standard topic chosen by Optimist International in a given year. The selected students attend a luncheon at the Redlands Optimist club and present their speeches before the members and a judging panel. First, second, and third places are awarded to both male and female participants, with medals and cash prizes given by the club. The first place winners go on to compete at higher levels of the Optimist structure, and if successful reach the district level where they will compete for $2500 scholarships as well as plaques and certificates of achievement.