Four-Way test speech contest

Four-Way Speech Contest Governing Principles and Rules (Club Level Contest)

Rotary District 5330


Corona Public Library

650 S Main Street


650 S Main Street

Our club’s 4≠Way Test Speech Contest was held on Friday, February 9 at Santiago High School. We are proud to recognize the following students: Asha who took First Place; Jared who took Second Place; and Bryant who took Third Place. Asha went on to represent our club our district’s 4-Way Test Speech Contest on March 2nd in Beaumont where she was a Finalist and place 9th overall!


Any topic which a contestant feels is timely, interesting and important may be used for the contest speech as long as it is not profane, obscene, unpatriotic or racist. If a contestant or coach has any doubts at all, they should clear their speech with the Contest Chairperson for the next level where they will speak. The decision of the Chairperson is final.

The topic must be specifically subjected to The Rotary Four-Way Test. The Four-Way Test must be integrated throughout the body of the speech and is not to be reserved for concluding statements only.

The Rotary Four-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 concerned?


Contestants must be currently in attendance at a public or private high school, charter school, or be home schooled within Rotary District 5330. No student may be a contestant in more than one Club Contest in any one year. Clubs may recruit contestants from a high school shared with another club. A District first-place winner may not participate again. Nothing in our rules shall prohibit clubs from developing their own procedures, requirements, and/or guidelines for their contest. This could include asking the speakers for a copy of their speech.


The Contest Chairperson will randomly draw the speaking order of the contestants.


Contestants will be disqualified if they arrive after a contest has begun or if their speech is determined to be profane, obscene, unpatriotic, or racist.


Please note the prize amounts for each level of the contest. No Rotary Club should exceed the suggested Club level awards, as to do so would undermine the integrity of the entire contest: Club Level:


At each contest level, the judges seat themselves apart from each other and must not communicate about their evaluations of speakers at any time.

  • Content: (0-20 points) Introduction, originality, organization, conclusion.
  • Delivery: (0-20 points) Voice control, articulation, enunciation, diction, body language, gestures
  • Four-Way Test: (0-30 points) Integration of Rotary’s Four-Way Test throughout the body of the speech.
  • Overall appeal: (0-30 points) Impact and persuasiveness.
  • Total: 100 points possible

Judges must total the points for each speaker in the Total Points column and then enter the net points. Each judge will rank speakers after they have determined the net points. Judges may have ties in points but not in rank order.

The Contest Chairperson will subtract any penalty points. If the subtraction of penalty points is likely to change rankings among the contestants, the Contest Chairperson will confer with any judge whose rankings may be affected.

If it is evident that a judge failed to follow the scoring rubric, such as neglecting to consider the inclusion of the Rotary Four-Way Test throughout the speech, the contest chairperson reserves the right to disqualify that judges’ decision.

Any protest relative to the conduct of a contestant or the operation of a contest, at any level of the contest, must be made to the Contest Chairperson of that particular contest before the winners are announced. The decision of the Contest Chairperson will be final.


Each speech must be greater than, or equal to, five (5) minutes in length. In addition, each speech must be less than, or equal to, eight (8) minutes in length. Penalty points will be deducted from a contestant’s score at the rate of two (2) points for each fifteen (15) seconds or fraction thereof that a contestant either runs over the eight-minute maximum or under the five-minute minimum.


Speakers may use whatever notes they feel necessary at the club level. Notes and props are not allowed at the District Finals.


No audience participation is allowed, including clapping at the end of each contestant’s speech. Once all contestants have given their speeches and the judges have left the room, contestants will introduce themselves by stating their name, the name of their high school and the name of their sponsoring Rotary Club.