And now... the 2011 Winner of the Annual Gardere MLK Jr. Oratory Competition:
5th Grader Elijah English:
Each participant in the contest had to answer the following question: How will I carry forward the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr?
In addition to his remarkable speaking skills, I imagine that one of the reasons why Elijah's speech won first place was because he was able to give the audience a concrete answer to this abstract question about legacy.
Elijah's story of showing his report card to his dying grandfather painted a powerful picture of what it means to learn from those who came before us.
From the Green Room: Use concrete language to make your point. The audience always remembers concrete details over abstract messages.