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Upcoming events:


Parker Merrill Speech Competition, Fall 2020



Recent events:


The 3rd Annual Spencer Prize in Oratory


      Feb 18, 2020   -  MAC Robison Hall



6th Annual NER Out Loud                                      Nov 8, 2019   -  MAC Dance Theater

            Podcast  now officially available on Apple Podcasts!

The Parker Merrill Speech Competition

             Newsroom coverage of Parker Merrill 2018

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Oratory Now presented to the 1800 Society during Fall Family Weekend 2017, and the Cane Society in June 2019.

NER Out Loud

Nov 8, 2019  -  MAC Dance Theater

For this sixth annual event, students from Oratory Now took the stage to perform selected poetry, fictional prose, and narrative nonfiction from the New England Review literary magazine. Podcasts from our earlier shows can be found on the NER website.

The First Annual Spencer Prize in Oratory

Feb  19, 2019

Throughout January and February 2019, first-year students competed for the prestigious Spencer Prize In Oratory. Congratulations to Roni Lezama, 2019 Spencer Prize Grand Champion!

Recent Performances

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October 2018 - orators read selections from the New England Review literary magazine. 


The NER Out Loud podcast is officially available on Apple Podcasts!

February and November 2017 - orators took the stage to read selections from the New England Review literary magazine.

April 2017 - The audience got on its feet to learn oratory skills and also to learn about the Ron & Jessica Liebowitz Fund For Innovation.

January 2016 - Students gathered to recall the times, trials, and legacies of Martin Luther King and his forebears through speech and song.

Recent Competitions


Constance Gooding becomes the third Spencer Prize Grand Champion. 


April 2019 - the 4th edition of the modern Parker Merrill Speech Competition invited contestants to ADVOCATE! See the Grand Championship preview video here.

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Jan/Feb 2019 - the Spencer Prize in Oratory for First-Year Students returns, crowning Champion Roni Lezama '22.

Newsroom coverage here.

April 2018 - the 3rd edition of the modern Parker Merrill Speech Competition featured Wise Words. Read the Newsroom coverage.


Jan/Feb 2018 - the inaugural Spencer Prize in Oratory for First-Year Students draws crowds to each of the 5 Commons, and the MAC Robison Hall. See the coverage by the Newsroom.

April 2017 - six Parker Merrill finalists, from a pool of twenty, asked listeners: "what if instead ... we try this?" Read the review by The Campus.

April 2016 - six finalists, from a pool of over twenty, argued for "a principle to guide us through troubled times."

April 2015 - eight finalists competed to win a $500 prize with their idea to make our nation a better place.

Recent Workshops


Summer 2019: Oratory Now Business Edition, "O-Biz," launches with workshops held at National Life Group in Montpelier (video here), June Forum at Bread Loaf, Middlebury Spanish Language School, and Addison Teen Center.


Spring 2019: For the third year in a row, Oratory Now helped first-year students with Explore Grants to practice speaking skills before heading out for summer internships.

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April 2019: Oratory Now visits Chicago to run workshops for the Pillars Fund


Oratory Coaching beyond the campus: Mateo Games '19 and Steph Miller '20 led Part 1 of an Oratory Workshop series for fifth and sixth-grade students at the Weybridge Elementary School. Oratory Now Coaches have also worked with area youth at the Addison Teen Center, lectors at St Stephens Episcopal Church in Middlebury, and with students at UWC Afghanistan.


Feb 2019: Oratory Now returns to MIIS for a new staff workshop: Connecting with a Live Audience


Jan 2019: Oratory Now coaches team up with professional screenwriters to help pitch their scripts.

October 2018: Members of the class of '94 worked with Oratory Now coaches to start planning and pitching their 25th reunion. In Jan and Mar 2018, Oratory Now facilitated a "Vocal Workout" with staff from the Office of Advancement.

Summer 2018: Oratory Now traveled to Monterey for a series of pitch-building workshops at MiddCORE, and a session with MIIS staff to help practice for presentations to colleagues.

Summer 2018: Oratory Now offered a special oratory workshop for German School faculty to help bring public speaking to the classroom.

Jan 2018: Coaching MiddCORE Strategic Challenge presentations.

Since 2015, Oratory Now has partnered with TEDx Middlebury to help competitors in their bid for the coveted Student Speaker slot at Midd's annual TEDx event. Student Speakers and TEDx MCs alike regularly seek support from Oratory Coaches.

Pitch Practice – One-on-one coaching with the TEDx ’17 Student Speaker.

Spring 2017: Faculty gathered to learn about how to integrate public speaking education into their classes.

Winter 2017: One of the country's leading experts in the art of business persuasion helped students hone pitches for themselves and their organizations.

Fall 2015: Juniors/seniors prepped for their future by finding the best way to pitch themselves to future employers.

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