2016 Speech Contest Club Planning and Rules

Rotary District 7610 – Annual Speech Contest Planning Guide 2015-2016
Club Level Contest
Each Club should appoint a Speech Contest chair to make contact with area schools in
September. The school principal, guidance counselor, debate sponsor, or teacher/sponsor of the
Interact Club would be appropriate to contact with information about the speech contest.
Club Level Rules
1. All general rules, including judging criteria, apply to Club competitions.
2. Judges may be Rotarians.
3. Contestants will be DISQUAIFIED if they use notes, prompts or props OR if they do not speak
on the speech contest theme: Be a Gift to the World.
Club Calendar Check-List
September – February:
- Schedule the club contest for January or February. Set the date, time and place.
- Determine Club level prizes (recommended).
- Review the general rules.
- Visit the school principal, guidance counselor, debate sponsor, or advisor. Give
them copies of the entry and judging forms and speech contact.
- Arrange for advertising in school paper and with posters in school.
January – Early February
- Secure registration forms from school.
- Names of club contestants should be sent to AG to assure no student is participating
in more than one Club contest.
- Advertise in Club bulletin.
- Secure four judges (one as backup). They may be Rotarians from other clubs.
- Secure one timekeeper and two tellers (may be Rotarians from other clubs).
- Arrange for a proctor to sit with contestants while others are speaking.
- Request newspaper coverage.
- Hold contest.
- The club should forward information of winner and alternate to their AG on or
before March 5, 2016.
One week prior to both Club and Area Contests
- Secure prizes (if applicable) and make certificates.
- Confirm date, time and place with judges, tellers and timekeeper.
- Locate calculators for tellers.
- Locate stopwatch for timekeeper.
- Prepare DO NOT ENTER signs for doors.
- Prepare cards with numbers designating order of contestants giving speeches.
- Duplicate Judging sheets.
- Duplicate Timekeeper’s sheet.
- Duplicate Teller’s instructions.
Day of Club and Area Contests
- Arrange seating for contestants and parents. (Do not seat parents together in the
- Arrange for a place for contestants and proctor to wait while others are speaking.
- Set up tables for judges, timekeeper and tellers.
- Greet contestants and guests as they enter room.
After Club and Area Contests
- Write thank you letters to judges, tellers and timekeeper.
- Write congratulations letter to winner and advise them of date, time and remind
them of the next level contest.
- The AG must register the area speech contest first place winner by notifying the
Youth Contests Chair on or before March 12, 2016. Only pre-registered area
winners may compete in the district final on March 19, 2016.
General Speech Contest Rules
1. Contestants must be high school students (grades 9-12) attending a public or private school or
being home schooled.
2. The contest topic is “Be a Gift to the World”. The principal purpose and mission of Rotary is
to serve others. In so doing we hope to better the lives of those we serve, making the future for
them and our world better, too. The act of serving requires resources and action. When you
join Rotary, you commit to both. Each Rotarian shares a part of their resources and helps to
deliver these to others. It is more than just attending a meeting and writing a check. It requires
you to engage in helping others. In doing so we better understand others and their needs,
allowing us to be more successful in with what and how we serve. When we commit and
engage in service to others, we witness the value and difference personal action makes to
benefit others. In doing this, Rotarians hope to change the lives of others to make the world
and our communities better.
3. The speaker must convince and illustrate to listeners why and how personally engaging in the
activities of service organizations, like Rotary/Interact Club services, changes lives.
4. The speech must be at least five minutes in length, but not more than eight minutes. A penalty
will be imposed if the time frame is not kept.
5. All contestants agree to speak at the area and final levels should they advance in the
6. Students may speak in only ONE Club competition.
7. All contestants must arrive at the designated contest location no later than ten minutes prior to
the start of the contest. Late arrivals will receive a penalty. Contestants arriving after the
competition has begun will be disqualified.
8. Microphones may be used if the contestant so desires. The decision must be made in advance
with the Rotary Club. Note: Contestants are required to use microphone at District level
competition and at District Conference.
9. Speakers MAY NOT use notes, prompts or props.
Conducting the Contest
1. Greet contestants and families as they enter the room
2. Be sure each contestant has completed a registration form and is in the contest room by the
appointed time.
3. Seat the contestants together and introduce them to each other, but do not introduce them to
others in the room.
4. Families of contestants must be in a separate area of the room.
5. Be sure the Sergeant at Arms is on duty. A proctor should stay with contestants as they wait to
speak and no one is to enter the room while a contestant is speaking.
6. Visiting Rotarians and other guests should be introduced, but contestants and their parents are
not introduced at this time.
7. When all contestants have arrived and are seated, have each pick a number to determine
speaking order.
8. If the contest is held during a regular club meeting, fines, Happy Talk, announcements, etc.
should be delayed until the calculation time between speeches (3 – 4 minutes).
9. To begin the contest:
a. Welcome contestants; do NOT use their names.
b. Read the contest rules.
c. Ask that the audience not applaud or talk during the speech.
d. Ask if judges, timekeepers and tellers are ready.
e. Ask all contestants except #1 to leave the room.
f. After speaking, contestants should leave the room.
g. Call the contestants to speak in numerical order.
h. After a contestant has spoken, tellers should collect judges’ and timekeeper’s sheets.
i. At end of speeches, bring all contestants back to room.
j. Ask for applause for all contestants.
k. Ask students to introduce themselves and their families.
l. When tellers have reached a decision, obtain results.
m. Announce results, beginning with third place, and award prizes as appropriate. ALL
contestants not placing first, second or third will be considered fourth place winners.
n. Announce that, if the winner is unable to attend the Area contest, the second place
winner will advance to first and third will advance to second.
Area Level Speech Contest
NOTE: Area Level contest conducted by Assistant Governors
1. All general rules apply to the area competitions.
2. Winners from the Club competitions will compete at the area level (unless only one Club in the
area has conducted a contest. In that case, that winner will proceed to the finals.)
3. Clubs sending contestants to the area competitions will provide or arrange transportation and
must accompany the student to the competition.
4. Judges MAY NOT BE Rotarians from the Clubs fielding contestants.
5. All contestants at the Area level will receive certificates of participation.
6. Contestants MAY NOT use notes, props or prompting.
For the AGs - Area Level Contest – February-March
By March 5, 2016, AGs will notify the Club Presidents and their Speech Contest chairs
when and where the area contest will be held. Area contests must be completed on or
before March 12, 2016.
AG should assign a Rotarian to serve as Sergeant at Arms.
AG will secure judges, a timekeeper and tellers.
Judges MAY NOT be Rotarians from the Clubs fielding contestants (Rotarians from
other clubs may serve as judges).
It is recommended this contest be held on a weekend or evening so parents/family
members can attend.
Follow general procedures for conducting a speech contest.
Sponsoring clubs must accompany their student contestants to this competition.
At the conclusion of the competition, after the placement of contestants is announced,
Announce the following reminders:
o The District Final Competition is March 19, 2016.
o If the winner of the District Competition is for any reason unable to attend the
District Conference (to present the winning speech and receive their award), the
second place winner will advance to first, third will advance to second.
o Clubs will work with the winning contestant family to coordinate transportation
to the District Conference on April 2, 2016.
Speech Contest District Level Rules
First place winners from each of the AG Area Speech Contests will compete on Saturday, March 19,
2015, at a location to be announced (probably in Fredericksburg VA). *
1. A Rotarian should make arrangements for transportation and accompany the student to the
District Conference.
2. All Speech Contest general rules and judging criteria apply to the District Speech Contest
competition. Student may NOT use notes or props and prompting of any kind is not
3. Judges may be Rotarians from clubs not competing.
4. The top three winners will receive a monetary prize. All contestants will receive
Awards have been set by the District as:
First Place
Second Plate
$ 500
Third Place
$ 250
The winner of the District Contest must be able to deliver their winning speech at the
District Conference on Saturday, April 2, 2016 at the Hyatt Chesapeake in Cambridge MD.
If the first place winner is not able to attend the district conference to fulfill this obligation. The
first place title and award will be forfeited. The second and third place students will move up to
first and second place in the competition and a third place will not be awarded. The first place
award and certificate will be presented at the District Conference. The sponsoring clubs of second
and third place winners will make arrangements for an award ceremony and presentation of
District Certificate and award check.
*Note: Participation in the District Speech Competition is restricted to winners of an area speech
contest. Students who present themselves to compete in the District Contest must be preregistered. No unregistered student will be permitted to compete. To register the winning area
speech contestant, the AG must notify the District Student Contest Chair of the winning
contestant’s (name, address, phone, email contact, school and sponsoring Rotary Club) on or
before March 12, 2016. No exceptions to participation eligibility will be made.