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Win a $1,000 USD 
Leadership Grant

Sharpen your public speaking skills and share your leadership with the world.

All K-12 students attending a Leader in Me School are encouraged to participate in the largest and most inspiring student speech contest in the world for a chance to win a $1,000 USD Leadership Grant! Contest entries are due by: May 15, 2020 @ 11:59 p.m. MST.




This year’s prompt: How do I live the paradigm, “Change Starts with Me?”

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The Student Speech Contest is for students K–12 attending a Leader in Me School.


We have had many speech entries in the past that exemplify this prompt. This year, we would like to hear how everyone lives the paradigm, “Change Starts with Me”.

This prompt can extend to but is not limited to national issues, local political or environmental issues in your community, or personal goals.

Just a friendly reminder: We are not looking for students repeating the 7 Habits. We want to see how the students have taken these lessons and built upon them.

All students are encouraged to enter by submitting up to a five (5) minute video. Students (with the help of their parents or school) can create a traditional or creative video addressing a leadership topic that matters the most to them. Students can speak in their native language – not just English!

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Are you ready to submit your video? Don't forget to review all rules and guidelines below. Good luck!

Previous Winners and Finalists

Check out other student speech contest winners and finalists selected from 2016-2019.

View 40+ Videos on YouTube

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Supporting 19 Languages

The judging process is open to students who not only speak English, but who prefer to speak in their own native language (limited below)!


✓ 普通话

(Mandarin Simplified)

✓ čeština


✓ latviešu


✓ русский


✓ Deutsche


✓ Español


✓ Монгол хэл


✓ bahasa Indonesia


✓ ភាសាខ្មែរ


✓ Português


✓ Română


✓ Nederlands


✓ français


✓ Español Europeo

(European Spanish)

✓ ไทย


✓ မြန်မာ


✓ اردو


✓ عربى


✓ English



What is a Leadership Grant?

Consider ways that you can you make a difference.

The purpose of a leadership grant is to inspire and enable students to be life-ready leaders by using the grant to make a difference within their circle of influence. A leadership grant will be awarded by FranklinCovey to students who are selected as winners in this year’s student speech contest. As participants work to develop a speech, they should consider what they would do with the leadership grant if awarded the prize and submit their plans for its use during the entry-form process. The decision is up to the student, but here are a few suggestions to make a difference as a leader:

• Identify and fix a problem that exists at school.
• Donate the money to a charitable contribution.
• Organize a service project in the community.
• Purchase personal school supplies.
• Help a class member or family in need.
• Contribute to a college fund.

What Type of Speech Will You Give?

Think of creative ways to make the speech memorable, engaging, and unique. Don’t forget to have your speech memorized!

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Traditional Speech

A traditional speech is delivered in a format we’re familiar with. When we think of traditional public speaking events, we imagine a podium a stage, or another venue a simple, professional background.

Here are a few tips for delivering a great traditional speech:

✓ Present to an audience (optional).
✓ Ensure lighting and audio quality.
✓ Use natural hand gestures.
✓ Be confident.
✓ Use voice inflection.
✓ Deliver memorized.
✓ Speak slowly and clearly.
✓ Avoid verbal pauses.

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Creative Speech

Creative speeches are an opportunity to explore different ways of delivering powerful speeches on video while still addressing the audience with a clear and concise message.

Here are a few tips for presenting your creative speech:

✓ Collect signed permission forms from anyone on video.
✓ Avoid copyrighted music, logos, or other licensed content.
✓ Be creative, but deliver a strong message.
✓ Ensure lighting and audio quality.
✓ Use simple video editing effects.

(Be sure to incorporate tips from the traditional speech section!)

The Judging Process

Three (3) grand prize winners will be selected by a panel at FranklinCovey Education using a judging rubric with three criteria: 1) message 2) tone and 3) quality of video (environment). Three (3) secondary winners will also be selected via popular vote! Students,friends, and family of contestants are encouraged to share the videos on social media to raise awareness of the entry. Votes are limited to once per person for the duration of the contest and will be registered to an email address. Friendly Reminder: Be sure we can clearly see you and hear you in the video! Winners will be selected in the following groups:

• Ages 5-10: One (1) grand prize winner will receive a $1,000 USD leadership grant.
• Ages 11-15: One (1) grand prize winner will receive a $1,000 USD leadership grant.
• Ages 16-19: One (1) grand prize winner will receive a $1,000 USD leadership grant.
• Popular Vote: Three (3) popular vote winners will receive a $500 USD leadership grant.

NOTE: All winners and finalists will be featured on the Leader in Me Blog, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube Channel! Contest is now open and we are accepting submissions through 5/15/2020 @ 11:59pm. Popular Vote opens 5/16 @midnight through 5/25 @ 11:59pm. Grand Prize Winners will be announced 6/1/2020 along with Popular Vote winners and Finalists.

Rules and Guidelines

The following rules and guidelines will help parents or guardians support participating students in producing a great video.


Who is eligible to participate?

Any student worldwide (ages 5 to 19) that attends a licensed Leader in Me School is eligible to participate. Parents and guardians are encouraged to assist, but the student must do the majority of the work!

Step 1: Prepare a Great Message

• Identify an inspiring leadership topic that will not only inspire your audience but showcase your passion as well.
• Don’t just recite the 7 Habits. Instead focus on the unique topic of your speech and its purpose, to persuade, to entertain, or to inform.
• The content can be delivered by one or more students, as long as each individual and their parent or guardian (where applicable) has signed a release form).
• Seek permission and/or credit the source of any third-party content referenced during the speech.


Step 2: Deliver a Great Speech

• Think of creative ways to make the speech memorable, engaging, and unique.
• Maintain consistent eye contact, use appropriate gestures, and speak clearly with expression.
• Consider visuals, such as slides, posters, a unique background, or objects, that might strengthen your message.
• Memorize your speech.


Step 3: Produce a Quality Video

• The video should be no longer than five (5) minutes in length.
• Make sure you film in a quiet location (no major background noise, like traffic, lawnmowers, or other people.)
• Submissions must be in standard video formats, such as: MOV (.mov), MPEG-4 (.mp4), FLV (.flv), or WMV (.wmv).
• The video must not include third-party intellectual property or copyright-protected content, like logos on shirts or branded products visible in background.

Step 4: Submit Your Entry

  1. Videos can be submitted with a Youtube URL from your own personal channel.
  2. Complete the official entry form.
  3. Print and upload a signed release form from a parent or guardian for each student appearing in the video.
  4. Submit a .doc or .txt (or similar) file of your speech
  5. Teachers- If you are submitting entries on behalf of your students, the entry must be in the student’s name, not yours.
  6. Enter via Youtube or upload speech in an acceptable video format
  7. Entry indicates participants and parents or guardians agree to give FranklinCovey ownership of video content.


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Contest Resources

Parent Consent Form English | Spanish | Portuguese | Chinese

Editable Flyer Template (PPT) English | Spanish

English Printable Flyer (PDF)

English Advertisement for PPT (JPG)

English Advertisement for Website (JPG)

For questions or more information, please contact us at [email protected].

What is Leader in Me?

Leader in Me (LiM) is an evidence-based, comprehensive school improvement model—developed in partnership with educators—that empowers students with the leadership and life-skills they need to thrive in the 21st century. Learn More

Franklin Covey Education