District 9810 Year 10
Four-way Test Public Speaking Competition

The program promotes public speaking in a competition for Year 10 students in District 9810 on the topic of Rotary’s Four Way Test, supported by sponsoring Rotary Clubs working in partnership with their local schools and Toastmasters International.  Benefits to participating students include exposure to the ideals and ethical values of Rotary, proficiency in the art of public speaking and confidence and self-esteem gained from  presenting to large audiences.

Marlene Sinclair – email – mobile: 0449 261 388

The speech competition is based on the theme of the Rotary Four-Way Test:
“Of the things we think, say or do

  • Is it the TRUTH?
  • Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  • Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?”

Aims of the Public Speaking Contest

  • To promote to young people the ideals and ethical values of Rotary by drawing attention
    to the wide applications and implications of Rotary’s Four Way Test.
  • To encourage and foster proficiency in the art of public speaking.
  • To develop confidence and self-esteem in the young participants.
  • To provide opportunities for students to test their skills before an audience.
  • To develop relationships between Rotary and schools.


Eligible students are in Year 10 in 2019. A commitment is required of finalists that they will be available for and will attend the District finals. Schools must be sponsored by a local Rotary Club.
Should additional students wish to enter the competition, sponsorships may be arranged with another Rotary Club.


Participants may choose their own topic which they feel is current, interesting and important.
The speech must be based on the application of at least two (2) of the elements of the
Rotary Four-Way Test.
The theme must run clearly through the entire speech and not just be reserved for the
concluding statements.

Speech Length

The duration of the speech should be four (4) minutes. Penalties will apply if time varies by more than 30 seconds either side of four (4) minutes. Participants will be given a warning at three (3) minutes.


District heats, semi-finals and grand final will be adjudicated by accredited members of
Toastmasters International.


Points will be awarded on the following basis:

  • Content and Organisation – 50 points
  • Delivery – 50 points
  • Use of the Four-Way Test – 20 points

Content and Organisation

  • Material: Scope, accuracy, relevance, adequacy of substance Practical application of
    the Four-Way Test (at least two (2) points must be covered)
  • Arrangement: Introduction, body, conclusion, construction, clarity
  • Progression: Cohesion, timing, logic, effective development of ideas
  • Language: Rhythm, originality, appropriate use of humour.


  • Visual impact: Stance, natural movement, eye contact, openness
  • Vocal Impact: Quality, clarity, tone, pause, pace, punctuation, personality
  • Empathy: Attitude, understanding, ability to captivate and/or engage the audience.
  • Appeal: Credible, entertaining, motivating, convincing

Entertainment value will be a focus, conveying the importance of using interesting and amusing substance and manner when communicating with an audience. Palm cards are permitted but their use should not detract from the overall presentation. No other props are permitted.
A stand-alone microphone will be provided where necessary, including the grand final.


For students selected to represent their school:

District Heats:

Certificates will be provided to the winners of a District Heat. Runners-up will receive a certificate of participation.

Semi Final

Six (6) or more participants from the District Heats will compete for five (5) places in the Grand Final.

Grand Final:

$200 to the winner. $100 to the runners-up. All finalists will be presented with a Rotary International Four Way Test Certificate.


July – August 2019
Approach local Secondary School(s) to promote the contest for students entering in Year 10 in 2018. Provide schools with Application Forms and Instructions for Schools and Participants.
Please adapt the cover letter template provided for this purpose.

  1. Advise school that a maximum of two candidates applies. The school must run its own internal selection process if necessary.
  2. Advise school that a requirement is that the candidate should be available to attend the Rotary District 9810 Annual Conference to be held in Melbourne in March 2020 and present their winning speech.
  3. All participants complete an application form signed by all required parties.

Clubs approached by more than one school are requested to refer inquiries to other clubs.

July – August 2019

  1. Identify candidates and assist them with the preparation of their speech.
    A presentation of the speech to the club is recommended
  2. Entry fee is $100 per entrant, payable by the Club. Note that this is a mandatory requirement
  3. Email an application form, duly completed, to Marlene Sinclair – email – mobile: 0449 261 388, for the club candidate to go into the District Heats
  4. Each completed application form must be accompanied with the receipt of direct
    payment to D9810 account, or date cheque was sent to district treasurer.
  5. Ensure Rotary club and name and details of Rotary contact are on the form

September 2019
District Heats are to be held in September and October
, depending on the number of applications.
The heats commence on 4 September and contestants will be allotted a heat when the application is received.

  1. Arrange for candidate to attend District Heat as advised by District Committee.
  2. One or more semi-finalists will be selected from each District Heat. The number will
    depend upon the overall number of participants.

October 2019 – Semi-finals

  1. Five participants selected from Semi Final will compete in the Grand Final.

October/November 2019 – Grand Final – date to be confirmed

  1. The winner will receive a prize to the value of $200.
  2. Runners-up will receive a prize to the value of $100.

Certificates of Participation

All participants will receive a Certificate of Participation, with all Heat and Grand Final winners having appropriate wording on their Certificate.


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