Westlake-Bay Village Rotary hosts annual speech contest

The Rotary Club of Westlake-Bay Village recently hosted its Spring 2019 "4-Way Test" Speech Contest for high school students. The contest provides a challenging way for students to develop critical thinking, ethical decision making and public speaking skills.

The purpose of the 5-to-7-minute speech is to apply the principles of Rotary International’s 4-Way Test to a current ethical issue. Students are challenged to identify a topic they feel passionate about and to adopt a point of view from which they will seek to persuade others. The contest takes place at School, Club and District levels.

Over the years, Rotary Clubs in District 6630 have partnered with schools and offered this opportunity to their high school students. Feedback about this program from teachers, students and parents has been consistently positive and has strengthened ties to the local community.

This year's contestants included Westlake High School students Eric Fogle, Victoria Montag, Katie Fogarty, Frank Ricaurte and Molly Finucane. Katie Fogarty, the winner of the local contest, advanced to the District Contest.

In addition to recognition, students won cash prizes at the Club and District levels of the contest. The contest guide, along with videos of previous winning speeches, is available on www.rotarydistrict6630.org under the 4-Way Test Speech Contest tab.

“Prizes are surely an incentive to compete in the contest. However there is an even more important reason for students to take part,” said Terri Speck, contest chair. “Participation in the 4-Way Test Speech Contest reflects that a student cherishes truth, friendship, goodwill and what is in the interest of the greater common good. Qualities that college recruiters value when selecting students.”

The 4-Way Test was developed by Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor during the Great Depression in 1932, when his company, Club Aluminum, was facing bankruptcy. Taylor theorized that if he could encourage his employees to always do the “right” thing, Club Aluminum could perhaps win business. He promoted the test as a way of life and model for doing business. Five years later, Club Aluminum was profitable again.

The 4-Way Test of things we think, say or do consists of four simple questions:

  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?

This Test has been translated into over 100 languages and is Rotary’s gold standard for ethics. All around the world, it has helped its members build friendships and experience greater success at work and in life.

The Westlake-Bay Village Rotary Club meets Wednesday mornings at 7:30 a.m. in the Bay Village Police Station community room at 28000 Wolf Road. All are welcome.

Joseph Kraft

Director, Baird & Co. Inc. Westlake Board of Education Vice President President Westlake Bay Village Rotary

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 10:31 AM, 05.21.2019