top of page

Richard D. King Annual Youth Speech Contest

Updated: Jan 21, 2022

Hosted by: Dublin, Pleasanton North & Tri-Valley Evening Rotary


Tri-Valley Students Invited to Compete in Annual Rotary Speech Contest

Schedule of Events

Students have until Jan. 15 to submit their entry forms for one of three club-level competitions in the Tri-Valley.

Club Competition: Applicants will be divided into three groups, sponsored by the Dublin, Pleasanton North, and the Tri-Valley Evening Rotary Clubs, with three sets of winners.

Three Club level contests will be held: February 2nd and 3rd @ 7pm at Foothill High School, Room C6, and February 15th 12:15 pm @ the Dublin Library.

1st Place $200, 2nd Place $150, 3rd Place $100. $25 will be awarded to the remaining participants.

Area Contest: February 28 - March 18, 2022; Regional Contest: March 21- April 15, 2022; District Contest: Saturday, April 24, 2022

To register for the contest or for questions

2022 Theme: “Serve to Change Lives”


The Speech Contest is open to all high school students. Each year the Rotary Clubs of District 5170 sponsor the Richard D. King Annual Youth Speech Contest with three goals in mind for Club Members and each Speech Contest Participant:

  • Increase personal knowledge and awareness of the importance of being able to speak effectively before a group.

  • Increase public knowledge of what Rotary is and does throughout the world, especially among young people.

  • Increase participation in the contest and to provide all high school contestants an opportunity to win prizes.

The prizes are awarded with “no strings attached.” However, it is hoped that the award might be used to further the student’s education. Our goal as Rotarians is to recognize and to support these young people who are tomorrow’s leaders.

The 2021-2022 Rotary Year theme is “Serve to Change Lives” which was chosen by RI President Shekhar Mehta. “Rotary kindled the spark within me to look beyond myself and embrace humanity,” he said. “Service became a way of life for me and I, like many

others, adopted the guiding philosophy that Service is the rent I pay for the space I occupy on this earth, and I want to be a good tenant of this earth.

Students are only eligible to compete at one club contest. DO NOT enter this contest if you already competed in another Rotary club contest.

Each student may choose any topic of interest, however all speeches must address the 2021-2022 theme “Serve to Change Lives”, and include a reference to at least one principle of The Rotary 4-Way Test. Use of this theme in the speech should be clear and unmistakable. The speech must be the original work of the contestant.

The speech cannot be under 4 minutes or more than 5 minutes in length. Timing will begin when the contestant first speaks, not after the Contestant’s salutation to the chairperson or audience. There shall be NO implicit or explicit identification of the

speaker and the speaker’s school in the content or title of the speech, in the attire of the contestant or by any other means whatsoever. The speaker shall NOT use props, displays or prompters of any kind. Notes may be used only if they are on one 3”x 5” card.

The Rotary 4-WAY Test - Of the things we think, say or do:

1. Is it the TRUTH?

2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?

3. Will it build GOODWILL and better FRIENDSHIPS?

4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Past Photos:



Contests are open to student speakers in grades 9 through 12 who attend a local public, private, or home high school within District 5170. Contestants may be sons or daughters of members of Rotary Clubs in District 5170.

Students may compete in only one club level competition. Once a student participates at one club, they are ineligible to compete at another club.

Original Work of Student

The speech must be the original work of the contestant.


The theme for all levels of the speech contests shall be Rotary International’s theme, named above (the theme changes each year). The theme must be clearly identified in the speech and need not be the topic of the speech.

Topic of the Speech

Each student may choose any topic they feel is timely and of interest, as long as the content of the speech relates to the current year’s theme and incorporates at least one of the principles of the Rotary Four Way Test shown above.

Time Limitations

Speeches are to be between four and five minutes in length. Important Note: Timing begins when a contestant first speaks, not after the contestant’s salutation to the District Youth Speech Contest Chair (DYSCC) or audience. A penalty of 2% shall be deducted from each of the judges’ scores for every 30 seconds (or fraction thereof) the contestant speaks either under four minutes or over five minutes.

Use of Props, Prompters, and Notes

In order to encourage participants at the CLUB LEVEL ONLY, the contestants may use a smart device only to GLANCE at their notes OR one 3” x 5” notecard.

As the contestant advances to the Area/RegionalFinal competitions, they SHALL NOT use props, displays, prompters, or smart devices of any kind. Notes may be used only if they are on one 3” x 5” card.

Identification of Speaker or School

There shall be no explicit or implicit identification of the speaker or of the speaker’s school in the content or in the title of the speech, the attire of the contestant, or by any other means whatsoever.


The District Youth Service Speech Contest Chair will make the final decision whether or not a violation has taken place.

142 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page