From the earliest days of the organization, Rotarians were concerned with promoting high ethical standards in their professional lives. One of the world's most widely printed and quoted statements of business ethics is The 4-Way Test, which was created in 1932 by Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor (who later served as RI president) when he was asked to take charge of a company that was facing bankruptcy. This 24-word test for employees to follow in their business and professional lives became the guide for sales, production, advertising, and all relations with dealers and customers, and the survival of the company is credited to this simple philosophy. Adopted by Rotary in 1943, The 4-Way Test has been translated into more than a hundred languages and published in thousands of ways. It asks the following four questions:

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?


Rotary International District 5790 is composed of 73 clubs in North Texas. The Clubs and District annually conduct a Four-Way Test Speech Contest to benefit high school age youth. The specific goals of the contest are:
  1. To acquaint a large number of youth with Rotary and the Four-Way Test.
  2. To demonstrate and enhance Rotary's commitment to youth.
  3. To heighten awareness of Rotary among youth, parents, schools, and community.
  4. To recognize, encourage, and reward hard work and accomplishment among youth.
All appropriate forms are posted on this page on the left column. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me:
Lori Richardson Glovier
District Four Way Test Speech Contest Coordinator
Mobile:  817-296-9124
District 5790 4 Way Test Speech Contest 
Information needed by club speech contest coordinators
Rotary District 5790 invites your Club to join us in a Four-Way Test Speech contest.  The Four-Way Test is the principle which guides the Rotary Organization.  
The information below represents how the speech contest is normally run in District 5790.
The Rotary Four-Way Test
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?
Typically a Club will have 4 or 5 students participate. If there are more students interested in participating, it is suggested that the school hold a ‘mini-contest’ patterned after the Club contest to select the students best suited to compete at the Club level.  Information about this follows.
General Information and Conditions
The following conditions apply to all contestants:
  • Topic of speech: “What the Four-Way Test Means to Me”
  • Contestants must be in high school and can be any age.
  • Contestants who have participated at the District level in any previous year are not eligible.
  • Speeches are to be 5 minutes in length.
  • No written scripts or props are allowed; however, 3x5 cards may be used
  • Student will need to be available to go to the Reginal and District dates if they qualify.
Tools Needed for a Club Speech Contest
The following tools are required to host a Club Speech Contest:
  • One Speech Contest Coordinator
  • One Time-Keeper – If possible, it is helpful to have 8 ½ x11 sheets with the following on each:
    • One minute (showing the contestant has one-minute left)
    • 30 Seconds (showing the contestant has 30 seconds left)
    • TIME (indicating the contestant has reached the 5-minute time limit.  They are allowed an additional 30 seconds as a grace period)
  • A Stopwatch
  • At least three judges who should not be other students or friends of the students to assure objectivity.
Competition Timeline
December 31    Submit your Club Participation Form to the  District Four Way Test Speech Contest Coordinator. 
Clubs should hold their contests during these months.  The winner of each Club contest advances to a Regional contest.
Regional contest for about 10 to 13  contestants will be held. 
Regional contests will usually be in 3 different venues on Saturday mornings spaced 1-2 weeks apart.  If the District Conference is held in May, the District Four Way Test Speech contest will be held at that District Conference on the Saturday during the weekend of the Conference.  (If held later, then the District Speech Contest will be separately scheduled in May while students are still available.)
If you have a school mentor for your contestant, they may accompany the student to the Regional/District contests.  Families and friends are welcome.  If for some reason your student cannot attend the assigned date, please contact the District 5790 Four Way Test Speech Contest Coordinator to see whether the student can attend a different Regional contest. 
Contest Forms (note list in column on left of this page)
  • Four Way Test Club Participation Form
  • Four Way Test Application/Photo-Video Consent
  • Four Way Test Speech Contest Rules
  • Four Way Test Speech Contest Judges Score Sheet
 I recommend that each contestant be given a copy of the Contest Rules and the Contest Judges Score Sheet as this will provide the most complete information on which to prepare their talks.
Questions & Answers: 
Q)- Which high school grade levels are eligible to apply for the Four Way Speech Contest?  
A) - All high school grades are included, even those who are home schooled.  Age does not matter as long as the student is in grade 9-12. 
Q) - Is the contest open to students even if they do not participate in an Interact Club?
A) - YES!  Grades 9-12.  School debate teams and speech classes often provide candidates to these contests.
Q) – What are the levels of competition during this Rotary Contest?
A) - Actually, there are 3 levels:  1) Club,  2) Regional, and  3) District.  With approximately 40 Clubs participating it would be impossible to have a District contest with that many contestants.  The winner from each club contest goes on to one of 3 Regional contests.  The Regional contests are spread out throughout the District.   The top two winners from each of the 3 Regional contests – total 6 - advance to the District contest which is held in May as previously noted.
Q) – What are the prizes awarded at each level of the contest?
A) – 1.  Club:  This is entirely up to each individual club.  Some clubs award certificates, some cash prizes, and some scholarships.  There is no mandate from the District.
       2.  Regional & District:  Cash prizes are awarded at both of these levels and will vary from year to year depending on the District budget for the Contest.  Once the $ amounts are known, they will be distributed to the clubs participating in the Four Way Test Speech contests.
Q) – What is the job of the Club’s Four Way Test Coordinator?
A) -  1.  Develop relationship with local high school contacts (may be Interact sponsor, speech teacher, debate team teacher, English teacher, or an assistant Principal) so that contest can be introduced to students with rules provided.
        2.  Schedule a contest with your Club, often done at Club meetings but can be done at the school depending on your relationship with the school.
        3.  Establish the winner and make sure the winner has filled out the application/consent form (see the link on the left above).
        4.  E-mail the completed form to me (the District 5790 Four Way Test Speech Contest Coordinator). 
NOTE:  It is the Club’s responsibility to make sure there is only one winner!  Only one contestant is allowed per club.  However, if your #1 person cannot make a Regional contest, we are happy to have you send your second place candidate. 
SUGGESTION:  The application/consent form is a streamlined version of the former Regional Participation Form and the Photo/Video Consent Form.  We now have one form with 2 pages.  It is important that both pages of the form be filled out.  My suggestion is that you use this form with all your student speakers at the club level so when you are done with your club contest, it will be complete and easy to e-mail to me!  No waiting on parent signature because it will be done.