Jennifer McGrew Thomason, Club President, 2023-2024

Club Events

4-Way Test Speech Contest

Community Events | March 1, 2012

The 4-Way Test
Of the things we think, say, or do:

1. Is it the TRUTH?
2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Any high school student in good standing except a student who has won 1st Place at the District level in a previous year may compete. Schools may participate through one club only.

Subject: Apply the 4-Way Test to everyday relationships with people

Length of Speech: The speech should be not less than five minutes nor more than seven minutes in length. Penalty points will be assessed if the speech length is outside these limits.

Delivery: The speech should be delivered in an extemporaneous manner. Notes will be permitted at the Club and Regional level, but will be limited to only one 3 × 5 card at the Regional finals. No notes will be permitted at the District Finals.

Speech Contest: The speech given by each contestant must be original in content and must show clearly the practical application of the Rotary Four Way Test to the subject of the speech and the lives of the age-group of the contestant when applicable.

In order for a student to progress to the District Finals, the successful Club Level winner must participate in elimination round contests.

Certain Clubs may not wish to participate in the District Finals. The decision to send club level winners to further rounds is left to the Club.

School Level – At the High School level, competition and choice of contestants may be handled at the discretion of the coach and/or speech instructor. Consider using a principal or vice principal as a judge.

Club Level – The speech contest will be held during the regular Rotary club meeting.  There should be no less than three nor more than six speakers. At the club level contestants should be from high schools in the Rotary club area.  If you win at the Club Level you are eligible to compete at the Sub-Regional level. The date, time and place to be determined.  Winners will be notified.

Regional level – The Regional Coordinator will determine the manner and venue in which the particular regional contest is held. The winners at each club level or the top two contestants at the sub-regional level will compete at the Regional contest.

District Contest – The winning speakers of each Region – representing four regions – will participate in the District competition to be held during the Rotary District Council meeting.

Awards will be distributed to all contestants at each level of competition. Cash awards will be determined by each Club and Regional Speech Coordinator. The  winner at the Club level will receive $100, second place $75, and third place $50 the winner at the Sub-Regional level receive $125, and the winner of the Regional contest receive $150. The winner of the District contest will receive $1,000.

Judges (3) Timer/Tallier – Club level – Qualified Rotarians from sponsoring club.

Speakers – May use podium and microphone if desired. (It should be pointed out that
vocal projection, body action, and use of gestures are elements to be judged.) Contestants – Will draw for speaking order. They will be introduced by number only at time of speech. Speakers, their coaches, and other appropriate persons will be introduced by name, school, and Rotary club sponsorship while the judges are deliberating. Judges will arrive at their decision before the contest is concluded.

The impact of the 4-Way Test High School Speech contest is immeasurable both for
Rotary and the school the participant attends.  Each student who competes in these contests spends much effort preparing and rehearsing his or her speech. The impact among all Rotarians who hear and are influenced by these speeches and upon the families and friends of the speaker is also immeasurable as they react to the fresh perceptions of these youths’ thoughts and share their experiences with us all.