History

The New Jersey Orators, Inc. is a non profit 501(C) 3 organization that teaches public speaking and life skills to youth between the ages of 7 and 18, nationwide. In a culturally enriched context, Orators practice public speaking and leadership skills to build confidence and self-esteem.

A Tradition of Excellence, A History of Commitment
The organization was founded in 1985 by a small group of African-American corporate executives who were concerned by the lack of formal language skills of young people who visited and interviewed for jobs in central New Jersey companies. Aware that communications skills play a major role in achieving academic and career success, the dedicated executive group established the first Orators Chapter in Somerset, NJ.

Since founding, New Jersey Orators, Inc. (NJO) has established a track record of achievement. It has grown from one chapter with 8 members, to 20 chapters across New Jersey, 2 chapters in Pennsylvania and we are continuing to expand nationally, with a network of more than 500 members and volunteers.

 In developing the organization, the founders focused on strong oratorical and verbal skills, as well as, an appreciation of literature. Also, they sought teaching methodologies that were fun and interactive and coaches who were trained in language, communication, English, and or practiced formal speech in their daily work. As a result, the organization relies on executive and education volunteers who are strongly committed to the program’s mission.

The basic training consists of developing skills in seven oratorical categories: declamation, extemporaneous speech, oral interpretation of poetry, oral interpretation of prose, dramatic interpretation, original oratory and illustrated talk/demonstration.

We Combine the Power of Persuasion with the Power of Potential

Twice a year, Orators throughout the state compete individually for awards and for the most accomplished chapter. The event exposes the Orators to a wide range of talented peers and oratorical styles. Coaching sessions for Orators are conduced 31 weeks during the school year and are led by volunteer coaches. NJO Coaches are seasoned professionals who possess formal training in language or skills and experience in oratory. The NJO program is designed to achieve the following:

  • Develop proficiency in the seven oratorical categories
  • Prepare students to speak before an audience through our statewide competitions
  • Encourage attendance at cultural events (plays, lectures/speeches, Heritage Month celebrations)
  • Hone public speaking skills
  • Stimulate early career exploration through attending corporate career days and professional events
  • Involve parents in selecting appropriate oratorical material and monitoring school grades

This successful program integrates the humanities with school and community. With support from libraries, local bookstores, teacher partnerships and referrals, students are responsive and attendance is high.”     ~ The Board of Directors

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