Four Way Test Speech Competition

Four Way Test Speech Competition


The aim of the competition is to:
  1. To provide Year 10 students with an opportunity to compete in a public speaking competition, thereby fostering excellence in the art of public speaking and developing the confidence and self-esteem of participating students.
  2. To provide an opportunity for students to test their skills before an audience.
  3. To bring the concepts of the Rotary “Four Way Test” to the attention of students.
  4. To provide Rotary and it’s “Four Way Test” with valuable exposure in the community.
  5. To develop relationships between Rotary and schools.


This competition originated in the United States of America and was introduced to Australia by Past District Governor 9450, Fred Marsh during his term as District Governor in 1988/1989. Since then other Districts across Australia have established the own competition. In 2009/10 DG John Cameron of District 9680 introduce the program into his District where 20 High School competed, the winner of the competition for that year was from Hornsby Girls High School.  


Students who are in Year 10 in 2020 at any secondary school within Rotary District 9685 are eligible to enter. Successful students will participate in the District Final in their Year 11.
The school must be sponsored by a Rotary Club within District 9685.
Schools should not be associated with more than one Rotary Club for the purpose of this competition but Rotary Clubs may seek entrants from more than one school.
A Rotary Club may sponsor up to four schools but each club will still only choose one student to represent their Club at a semi-final.

Competition Schedule.

Club Heats to be concluded by Monday, 2nd November,  2020
Semi-Finals to be concluded by mid November.
District Final will be held at our Virtual District Conference (via Zoom) on the 13th March, 2021.


Each participant may choose their own topic, but the four principles of the Rotary Four Way Test must be explored in the speech:
            Is it the TRUTH?
            Is it FAIR to all concerned?
            Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
            Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?


The duration of the speech should be six (6) minutes. 
A warning bell will sound at five (5) minutes with a final bell at six (6) minutes.
Penalties may apply if time varies by more than 20 seconds either side of 6 minutes.
A time sheet will be completed by a Volunteer Timekeeper and this will be provided to the adjudicators to assist in their final assessment.


School level:               At the discretion of the school.
Club Heats:                 At the discretion of the club
Semi-finals / Final:    One adjudicator will be accredited by toastmaster and two Rotarians with public speaking experience.
Time keeper information and an adjudication sheet are included in this correspondence.


Points will be awarded on the following basis:
Impact on the intellect                                                         40 points
Impact on the emotions                                                      40 points
Discussion of the ideals of the “4 Way Test”                    20 points
Impact on the Intellect
Material:                     Scope, accuracy, relevance, adequacy of substance.
Arrangement:            Introduction, body, conclusion, construction, clarity
Progression:              Cohesion, timing, logic, effective development of ideas.
Language:                  Rhythm, strength, animation, creativity.
Appeal:                       Imagination, originality, appropriate use of humour.
Impact on the Emotions
Visual Impact:           Stance, natural movement, eye contact, openness.
Vocal Impact:            Quality, clarity, tone, pause, pace, punctuation, personality.
Empathy:                   Attitude, understanding, audience involvement.
Mood:                         Feeling, enthusiasm, sincerity.
Appeal:                       Was it credible, entertaining, motivating, convincing?
Please note:
  • The entertainment value of the speeches will be a focus, as we aim to convey the importance of using interesting and amusing substance and manner to communicate with an audience. 
  • Palm cards are permitted but their use should not detract from the overall presentation, particularly in the later heats. No other props are permitted.  A
    stand-alone microphone may be provided for Club Heats, Semi-finals and the Final.


For the Winner of each Club Heat:
A certificate and a cheque or prize to the value of $25 - provided by the sponsoring Rotary Club.
For the Winners of the District Semi Final:
A certificate and a prize to the value of $50.00 -provide by the Rotary club who volunteers to organize and run the semi finals.  
For the Winner of the Final:
A certificate and prize yet to be determined.


There is a charge of $50 for Rotary Clubs entering the competition. This fee will help to defray the costs of providing prizes and meal costs for adjudicators and competitors.
In addition each participating Club should meet the costs for:
  1. The prize for the winner of the Club Heat – to the value of $25.
  2. The meal and any other courtesy/acknowledgement extended to the accredited adjudicators at the Club Heat
  3. The meals of the participants and their mentors (one each) at the Club Heat.
  4. The meals of the Club’s representative, their student and their mentor at the Semi- final and Final.


Competition Coordinator:
Ken Broadhead  District Coordinator