The 4-Way Speech competition is a Rotary-sponsored public speaking opportunity for students in grades 9 - 12 from any and all academic settings: private school, public school, home-school or other.  Students are asked to take a side on an issue that has affected them personally or about which they are passionate on a larger scale (locally/nationally/globally) and put their understanding of the issue to the test of the 4-Way Test, then presenting the results of the test in a persuasive speech.
Preparation for the 4-Way Test Speech competition begins in October for contest facilitators and whole-heartedly in January for students who aspire to compete. Students suggest a topic, present the topic to a school competition representative in the form of an essay or outline, and then practice the presentation with a small school audience. A limited number of students move on to the club-level competition, at which students speak before the Doylestown Rotary Club.  Students  in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place standing go home with generous monetary awards, with a feeling of accomplishment, having made some new contacts at Rotary with engaged adults, and anticipate the next level of competition.
Competition continues to the Regional and District levels.
Before both the club and regional competitions, students have access to speech coaches provided by their school, by the Doylestown Rotary Club, and, more recently, by Toastmasters.
In 2022, The Doylestown Rotary Club had two well-spoken, in-person contestants, Luke Dudeck and Shea Baumgardner, who both moved on to the Regional competition, demonstrating impressive strength in their speaking skill set.
Interviews of regional contestants revealed that many speakers are introverts with amazing thoughts to share, they felt positively challenged by the prospect of public speaking, they were given an opportunity to face a fear of public speaking (and totally rocked!).  The adults in the audience were dumbfounded by their growth and insights.
The 4-Way Speech Contest participation is an amazingly powerful and unique item to add to a resume that makes the student REALLY stand out.  Participating is truly a sign of dedication and courage.