2021 General Speech Contest Rules

Speeches should be five (5) to seven (7) minutes long. The purpose of the speech is to apply the following principles of Rotary International’s 4-Way Test to a current ethical issue.
Of the things we think, say, or do:
  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?"
Students are challenged to identify a topic they feel passionate about and to adopt a point of view from which they will seek to persuade others. It should be something from the speaker’s personal experience or general knowledge. There are no restrictions regarding the choice of topic as long as it is not blatantly offensive.
Each part of the Four-Way Test should be addressed during the speech. They should be specifically stated, as the intent of the speech is to use the 4-Way Test to resolve an issue. Each part could be used to prove either a positive or negative point.
Speeches shall be from five (5) to seven (7) minutes. Penalty points at the rate of 2 points for every 15 seconds will be subtracted for infractions over or under the minimum or maximum time limits. A green signal will be displayed at five (5) mins and remain displayed for one (1) min. A yellow signal will be displayed at six (6) mins and remain on for one (1) min. A red signal will be displayed at seven (7) mins and stay on until the conclusion of the speech. Timing begins when speakers start speaking.
Note cards may be used to recover from a memory lapse and avoid embarrassment, but they should be unobtrusive and not relied upon during the speech. Even if a speaker chooses not to use note cards, they may have them at hand in case of an emergency. Use of props should be limited.

Rules for the Virtual Contest
  1. The Contest will take place on Zoom on Saturday April 10, 2021. All speeches will take place via Zoom.
  2. Contestants will be sent a Zoom meeting invitation link for the specific time of their speech.
  3. Please ensure that your computer is fully charged and functional prior to the contest.
  4. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Be on time for your presentation. Sign in 5 minutes before your allotted presentation time with your camera ON and your microphone on MUTE. A meeting moderator will give you access to the meeting when it is your turn. Please unmute only when instructed to do so by the moderator. The moderator will provide speakers with a phone number to call in the event of connectivity issues or other unexpected technology problems.
  1. All contestants are allowed two guests on the day of the contest. Contest organizers may admit up to 20 additional audience members per speech. All guests, including teachers, sponsors, and family members, may sign in 5 minutes before your allotted presentation time. All guests must remain on mute for the duration of the session.
  2. Aside from situations involving technical difficulties, no participants will be admitted after the scheduled start time, and once a speaker or guest has left a session, they will not be re- admitted.
  3. You will begin your speech when called upon by the timer. Please sit or stand at an appropriate distance from your computer’s camera so that you appear clearly to your audience. Moderators may ask you to adjust your position prior to the start of your speech if judges cannot see you properly.
  4. The judges and timer will have their screens set to speaker view so that they can see you as you give your speech. Set your screen to gallery view so that you can see your audience.
  5. Your timer will raise a green paddle when 5 minutes have elapsed, a yellow paddle at 6 minutes, and a red paddle at 7 minutes. (See General Contest Rules, above.)
  6. Once you have completed your speech, please re-mute yourself and wait for further instructions from the moderator.
  7. Following all speech presentations in your group, participants will be notified by the moderator if they have qualified for the final round of competition. Instructions will then be given to the finalists.
THANK YOU for your participation in the Rotary 4-Way Test Speech Contest! Please sign and date below and send a digital copy to your teacher or sponsoring Rotarian.
I promise to abide by the rules of the Rotary 4-Way Test Speech Contest as outlined above and understand that I may be disqualified if I do not follow these rules.
Signature                                                                                                             Date