The Speech Competition continues to be the area attracting the most entries island wide yearly. From the competition’s inception in 1963 the famous dialect verses and storytelling wooed audiences both locally and internationally; rightly, since our own Ms Lou made waves across the seas especially in London and the BBC with Jamaican Language. Many broadcasters, actors, personalities, the ordinary man, orators even politicians got their exposure through the JCDC Speech Competition.

Medals won have helped to matriculate individuals into overseas universities much to the delight of participants who appreciated more the value of the JCDC awarded medal which have come in for even greater recognition from foreign authorities. Consequently, enough local and overseas engagements for talented speech competitors have shown just how viable performances in this area remain. It is not uncommon that requests come to the JCDC routinely throughout the year for the popular Speech items.

From the speech competition of the JCDC Jamaica has benefitted greatly by utilizing the skills honed in many talents, noting that famous actors have emerged on the national scene.

Joan Andrea Hutchinson, Tony Patell, Dervan Malcolm, Karen Harriott Wilson, Nomadzz and Jahzan McLaughlin are only a few of the visible stars born out of “Speech Festival”.

This speech program which features fifty competition categories from experimental speaking ensemble to Jamaican dialect (the most of all the performing arts areas) training workshops, seminars and where the competition process culminates in a SpeechFest where the best are featured and where other stars are highlighted on the famous annual Mello Go Roun’.

More than two thousand individuals and groups, ranging from the amateur to the professional, enter the JCDC’s Speech and Drama Competitions each year. The JCDC’s programme in elocution aims at personal development through the appreciation and understanding of good speech as the essence of effective communication. The competition is one of the most popular in the arts. Entries are accepted in Standard English or Jamaican dialect in the following categories:-

  • Standard English poems/prose
  • Jamaican Dialect Prose (solo)
  • Dub Poetry (solo)
  • Speaking Ensemble
  • Public Speaking (solo)
  • Story Telling
  • Caribbean Dialect Poems
  • Sonnets, Psalms and Shakespeare (solo or group)

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