The Game Loft in Belfast will host “Speak Your Mind!,” a public speaking tournament open to Game Loft youth and families, on Saturday, March 16, at The Crosby Center, Church Street in Belfast, from 1 to 4 p.m.; doors open at 12:30. Hear Waldo County youth in action as they debate, persuade, and make their voices heard. The tournament is free to attend. Cash prizes will be awarded to the winners in each category.

This year’s tournament will have a new format, beginning with a “Snake Oil” sales pitch. Quick-witted speakers will be challenged to take two words at random to form a convincing sales pitch to win over customers in this variation of a favorite party game among Lofters. In the “Prepared Speech” category, participants are encouraged to “share their passion” in a five-minute speech to be evaluated on its organization, clarity and flow. Finally, youth will be challenged to work in teams in a classic debate format. Middle and high school students working in groups of three will take on either the pro or con side of issues selected by The Game Loft prior to the event. The winning team will demonstrate critical thinking, research, and an ability to debate on either side of an issue. Events and awards will be followed by an ice cream social for the audience and participants.

For more information, call The Game Loft at 338-6447 or e-mail info@thegameloft.org.