1. Notify the District Chairperson (2017 Chair:  Peter DeSouza - click to email Peter or call him at 330-671-8582) that your club intends to participate.  Return appropriate forms promptly.  Chairpeople will be happy to help you organize your contest. Clubs can only have one student attend the District Competition.  "Winner" is a singular term.  Do not ask to have more than one student progress to the competition because "both of them were so good we could not decide".  Have adequate, competent judging.  Have an odd number of judges in order to break a tie.  It is unfair to all other clubs to try to get more than one participant when all other clubs follow the rules.  Most clubs can only send one student.  Clubs with more than three participating high schools in their service area get to send one participant for each of four different schools.  As an example, the Cleveland Club has 15 high schools in their service area.  Cleveland can send up to five students.  However, they cannot send two students from the same school, even if three schools participated.

2. A  Rotarian from the sponsoring club MUST be present at the competition.  This is a ROTARY event!  A Rotarian must register and pay entrance fees.  

3. Have your committee review the contents of the information packet provided.  Make copies of information that you want to distribute.

4. Contact the High School Principal and explain the contest.  Also make contact with the cooperating teacher.  If possible, volunteer to go to the school and teach the lesson that explains all about the speech contest, why we have it, what the speeches should be about, how they are judged, and what the prize money will be.  Encourage students to read all information and view and discuss the videotape.

5. Have Rotarians from your club go to the schools to conduct semi-finals, (if you have more than one school competing).  If there is only one participating school in your area, the contest and judging can be held at a club meeting instead of a regular program.  If more than one school from your area is competing, have the winners from each school present their speeches as a competition at a regular meeting.

6. For the club meeting when speeches are given:  Invite the parents, principal, and cooperating teacher in addition to the speaker.  The club pays for these additional meals.  Award suitable  cash prizes.  (Plaques and pens, etc. in addition)

7. Use the enclosed judging sheet to determine winners.  Click to download judging sheet now.  Click to download judging guidelines now.

This will be the scoring sheet used at the District level.  Be sure the participants have seen and used the form when developing their speeches.  Although you assign points when using the judging sheet, disregard the variance between different judges sheets.  On each judges sheet, pick the winner for that sheet.  Then compare with other sheets to determine the winners.  (Different judges allow different points for judging, so you cannot just add up all points from all sheets to determine winners.  Add up winners from each judging sheet.)  

8. Have some "filler time" available during judging.
9. Prepare press releases, if possible, to acknowledge your contestants and provide your club with additional Public Relations.

10. Please reply via e-mail as early as possible to register your intent to participate. No registration forms will be sent to clubs. Please let Peter DeSouza (click to email him) or call him at 330-671-8582 know as soon as possible if your club is participating, and how may people will be in attendance at the  competition. We need to have a general idea of the number of people attending in order to cater the event.

11. Plan to have a Rotarian chaperone your participant at the District level competition.  Plan ahead!

12. Should your contestant win at the District level, plan to accompany that student to the District Conference, where the speech will be presented to District, and prizes will be awarded.