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To overcome the fear of public speaking, here are some things you can remember...
Introduced in 1983, the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival provides Greek Orthodox teenagers the opportunity to write and talk about their faith. Over 200 parishes and 1,000 participants take...
By: Athina Vella – St. Andrew’s Church Randolph, NJ     Every year, the host church for the St. John Chrysostom National Oratorical Festival asks previous national finalists in the...
  Similar to many first-time Oratorical Festival Teens, Demetra Ganias Soterakis decided to participate in the event alongside friends and classmates because it was an annual Sunday School...
You’ve written your Oratorical speech using our five preparation tips. But writing is just one part of making a great speech, now you have to present it in front of an audience. If you’re nervous, that’s completely normal. Everyone gets nervous about public speaking. But with practice (in front of a mirror or other people), you will build up your confidence. And if you learn to use your charisma, you can be interesting and persuasive when sharing your message with the world. Here are some speaking strategies that will help you give an effective speech
  In the fall of 1983 -- the very first year of the Oratorical Festival -- Mike Emanuel’s parish priest, Father Alexander Leondis encouraged all the GOYAns to participate in the Oratorical...
So, your Sunday School teacher, parent, Godparent, or friend told you about the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival. After some consideration, you are leaning towards trying it. Besides getting up in front of an audience to present your speech, one other thing is holding you back...actually writing a speech. While this might be your first time writing a speech, this skill is something that you’ll use throughout your life. Learning it now will help you in the future.
In 1996, George Psomas stepped up to the podium for the first time as a Junior Division participant at the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival. Now, he is a professional actor in New York City who was in the 2015 Broadway production of Fiddler on the Roof, and the 2008 Broadway production of South Pacific. George took part in the Tony Awards and the NBC Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. He recently won Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Role for his portrayal of Fidel Castro in the new musical Errol and Fidel with the New York Musical Theatre Festival.
Introduced in 1983, the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival provides Greek Orthodox teenagers the opportunity to write and talk about their faith. Over 200 parishes and 1,000 participants take part in the festival each year. As with any church program, our goal is to always increase participation and keep people interested in the event year after year. With that in mind, we wanted to provide you, the chairperson, a few tips you can utilize to market the Oratorical Festival in your parish.
As the daughter of Presvytera Margaret Orfanakos and Fr. John Orfanakos – the former national chairpersons of the National Oratorical Festival from 1986 through 2018 – I am a passionate advocate for the program. I like to say that I grew up attending Oratorical Festivals the way other kids my age attended baseball games. With the repose of my dear parents, I am honored to be stepping into their shoes and serving as the National Oratorical Festival chairperson. Together with my niece, Stephanie Orfanakos, we plan to create a regular blog presence for the Oratorical Festival on this site – where you can see what former participants are up to today and get expert advice from former participants and parish, district and metropolis chairpersons.

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