Richard D. King Annual Youth Speech Contest

The Rotary Clubs of District 5170 sponsor the Richard D. King Annual Youth Speech Contest each year with three goals in mind for the Club Members and each Speech Contest Participant:
1. To increase personal knowledge and awareness of the importance of being able to speak effectively before a group.
2. To increase public knowledge of what Rotary is and does throughout the world, especially among young people. Through this knowledge, we hope that they will learn, as we have in the past, “He profits most who serves best.”
3. To increase participation in the contest and to provide all high school contestants an opportunity to win prizes as top public speaker, or runner-up, in District 5170.

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 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?

Each year the RI theme is used.  In 2023/2024 theme  is "CREATE HOPE in the WORLD

Students are eligible to enter the District 5170 Contest for only one Rotary Club. Students MUST NOT enter another club’s contest if they have already competed in a different club.

Each student may choose any topic of interest, as long as the content of the speech relates to the theme. All speeches must address the current Rotary theme, and include a reference to at least one principle of The 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 student’s salutation to the chairperson or audience. There shall be NO implicit or explicit identification of the speaker, of the speaker’s school in the content or title of the speech, by the dress 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 or on a phone.

The Speech Contest is open to all Rotary International District 5170 high school students.

Club Contest Area Contest

Regional Contest District Contest - Further District level information


Below are the estimated dates for all levels:
  • Club Level to be Completed by February 27th
  • Area Level  - TBD
  • Regional Level - TBD
  • Final District Level on April 28 at the District 5170 Conference to be held at Hayes Mansion in San Jose

For more information contact:

Stefka Bonev 
(408) 221-9463