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Rotary Youth Speech Competition

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Theme:  The theme for the speech shall be, “Light Up Rotary” The theme must be clearly identified in the speech and need not be the topic for the speech.


Topic:  Each student may choose any topic he or she feels is timely and of interest, as long as the content of the speech relates to the theme of “Light Up Rotary” and incorporates at least one (1) of the principles of  The 4-Way Test.


The 4-Way Test Principles:  Each speaker must clearly relate, apply or interweave one or more of The 4-Way Test principles into his/her speech.  These four principles, which Rotarians have adopted as a guide for everyday living, are as follows:


     The  4-Way Test


      Of the things we think, say or do


        1.  Is it the TRUTH?

        2.  Is it FAIR to all concerned?

        3.  Will it build GOODWILL and

              better FRIENDSHIPS?

        4.  Will  it be BENEFICIAL to all



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     Levels of Contest              Level of Prizes      

1st- $100

2nd - $50 

3rd - $25


1st - $200

2nd - $100


1st - $250

2nd - $250


1st - $1,000

2nd - $500

3rd/4th - $250

Club Level.  Each of the 52 clubs in Rotary District 5170 is eligible to hold a speech contest, drawing contestants from the high schools in the Club’s local area.  At each Club, the First Place Winner  is  selected to participate at the Area Level competition. 

Area Level.  Within the District, Clubs are grouped into ten  Areas, with four to seven Clubs in each Area.  Every Club Level winner will compete with the winners from the other clubs in that Area. First Place winner  will be selected as finalists to participate in the Regional Level competition.  The Area Level Contests are to be held between February 23 and March 6, 2015  at a designated Rotary Club.

Regional Level.  The District sponsors two Regional competitions.  The two regions are the Northeast Region (Areas 1 through 5) and the Southwest Region (Areas 6 through 9). The top two finalists from each Regional Competition will go on to the final competition at the District Cabinet Meeting.  The Regional Level competitions will be held between  March 23-March 27, 2015.

District Finals:

The Four Regional Finalists, with  parents/guardians, will be Rotary’s guests at: DoubleTree Hotel San Jose, 2050 Gateway Place, CA 95110, Sunday, April 19, 2015, where the District Conference will be held.

The Competition will be held during breakfast/brunch.  


Rotary Speech Event Project Lead 
Phone: 510-300-5744

Field Coordinator, Student and Parent Support Programs
Phone: (510) 723-3857, Ext. 34196
Fax: (510) 781-6108


The Rotary Clubs of District 5170 sponsor the Richard D. King Annual Youth Speech Contest each year with three goals in mind for the Club Members and each Speech Contest Participant:


To increase personal knowledge and awareness of the importance of being able to speak effectively before a group.


To increase public knowledge of what Rotary  is and does throughout the world, especially among young people. Through this knowledge, we hope that they will learn, as we have in the past, “He profits most who serves best.”


To increase participation in the contest and to  provide all high school contestants an opportunity to win prizes as top public speaker,  or runner-up, in District 5170.


Eligibility:  Contests are open to student speakers in grades 9 through 12 who attend a local public or private high school within District 5170.  Student speakers are to enter only one Contest.

Original Work of Student:  The speech must be the original work of the contestant.

Time Limitations:  Speeches are between  4 and 5 minutes in length.  Timing will begin when the contestant first speaks, not after the student’s salutation to the chairperson or audience.  A penalty of 2% shall be deducted from each judge’s score for each 30 seconds (or fraction thereof) the contestant speaks under 4 or over 5 minutes.

Use of Props, Prompters and Notes:  The speaker shall NOT  use props, displays or  prompters of any kind.  Notes may be used if they are on one (1)  3” x 5” card.