Preston Johnson High School Speech Contest

History: Initiated in 1997 by Dublin Rotarian and Past District Governor, Preston Johnson, the annual District high school speech contest is a special project engaging Rotarians, educators, and students. The competition is a meaningful and rewarding opportunity for the development of future leaders.

Originally named the Four-Way Test Speech Contest, the competition has evolved to also include the current Rotary International President’s Annual Theme. Students may choose either the Four-Way Test or the theme as their speech topic. The object is that as students prepare for their speech they will research and learn about the Rotary organization. They will also gain experience preparing and presenting in front of an audience. Additionally, parents, teachers, and audience members will benefit from the information and spread the message of Rotary.

Process: Early January, Club Presidents & Speech Contest Chairs should notify school administrators and educators at local area high schools about the upcoming speech competition in their local clubs. Club competitions should be held no later than March 1st. Clubs may send their first and second place winners to the Zone competition with the club agreeing to pay a $100.00 entry fee for each participant. It is at each individual club’s discretion whether they would like to offer a club level prize.

Club winners participate at a Zone competition held in the Northern, Western, and Eastern parts of the District. Each Zone winner will receive a $1000 scholarship after their speech presentation at District Conference. They must be able to present to receive the scholarship.

Participation: Any high school students may compete, freshman through senior. A student placing or winning at the club or zone level in a prior year may still compete if they remain a high school student. Public, private and homeschool students are eligible.

Format: Speeches are limited to 3-4 minutes with points deducted by the judges for less than 3 minutes or more than 4 minutes.

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?