Youth Speaks Competition 2018-19

The Rotary Youth Speaks Competition is a well-established and successful competition organised and promoted by Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland.  It is a four-stage competition which is designed to support and encourage the development of effective communication skills and aims to offer young people:

  • experience in speaking on a public platform as a member of a team
  • an incentive to formulate ideas on topical subjects
  • discipline in dealing with a topic in a limited time
  • the opportunity of learning and practising high standards of expression, presentation and appearance
  • impartial feedback and assessment of performance by experienced adjudicators

All the documents required to take part in the competition can be downloaded from the Rotary Club website or by clicking on one of the links below:

Youth Speaks Competition Entry Form 2018-19

Youth Speaks Info Pack 2018-19

Youth Speaks Judges Score Sheet 2018-19

Who Can Take Part

The competition is open to all schools and college communities, including those that are home educated and any other young people’s community organisations, for example, community RotaKids, community Interact, Scout Groups, Girl Guides.

Each team will comprise of three students in full time education in two age groups:

Intermediate           11 to 13 years

Senior                    14 to 17 years

With the age qualifying date of 31 August 2018, it should be noted that some junior entrants may be 11, Intermediate entrants 14 and Senior entrants 18 at the time of some or all stages of the competitions, e.g. a competitor who is 17 on 31 August but turns 18 on 1 September is allowed to enter.

Students should enter the competition organised by the local Rotary club through their respective group, as detailed above.

Competitors, schools, colleges and other organisations can participate in a district that is outside of their boundary, but can only compete in one club or district.

The Four Stages of the Competition

Local Heats:  These are organized by local Rotary clubs between September and December and winners of each age group are entered into a district competition.  The Crickhowell High School Local Heat will be held on Wednesday 5th December 2018 in the MPS.

District Competitions:   These are organised by Rotary between January and mid-February 2019.  For high numbers of entrants, it may be necessary to hold preliminary rounds prior to a district final.  Age group winners of district competitions are entered into a regional final.

Regional Finals:  These are organised by Rotary between mid-February and March 2019.  Age group winners of Regional Finals are entered into the National Final.

National Final:  This is organised by and held at the Rotary annual Showcase in Nottingham on Sunday 12th May 2019.

Dates for local heats, District Finals and Regional Finals may have local variations.  Interested parties should check dates with their local Rotary club.

Rotary does not fund expenses of the regional winners to attend the National Final.

Competition Guidelines

Each team member takes on one of three roles: chairperson, speaker and vote of thanks.  The team should be the same throughout the competition.  In exceptional circumstances, substitutions may be made, subject to the approval of the competition organiser.  Each team member is allocated a time in which to perform their role. 

Judges with appropriate skills, appointed by Rotary, will apply the judging criteria, provide feedback to all competitors and mentoring to winners.   The judges will not discuss marks and their decision will be final.

A Rotarian will not be appointed as a judge for Regional or National Finals.

At the end of the competition, the organizer will collect the judges’ score sheets which will be retained by the competition organizer for a minimum of 3 months.

The judging criteria is as follows:

The judges will deduct one point for each complete 15 seconds over the allocated time and one point for each complete 30 seconds under the allocated time.  Points will not be deducted for time in answering the question.

A Rotarian with no interest in the participating teams will review the scores to ensure accuracy before the results are announced.

Only in exceptional circumstances and at the sole discretion of the competition organizer, will correspondence or discussion be entered into following a competition.

The questioner, who shall not be one of the judges, will be appointed by the competition organiser.  Speakers will be asked to respond to a question asked by the questioner.

The questioner can be a Rotarian but not from a participating club.


At all stages of the competition competitors will receive a certificate of participation.

After the judges have determined the result of the competition, one or more judges will comment on their observations before announcing the result.

At the National Finals, the winning Intermediate and Senior teams will receive the Rotary Challenge Trophy, which may be held for one year. Each member of the winning, second and third teams will receive an individual award.

How to Enter & Competition Procedure

To enter a local heat, interested parties should contact their local Rotary Club either via their organization or the Rotary website  In case of difficulty, the Rotary Youth Competition Co-Ordinator, Bill Campbell, can be contacted at  Please ensure you quoting the home address and the address of the school, college or other organisation.

Entrants need to complete the entry form provided and submit it either to the local Rotary club organiser or your organization by the time specified.

Before each competition, the competition organizer will conduct a draw to determine the order in which each team will make their presentation.  The order will be notified to teams at the competition.  If possible, teams will be given prior notice of the order.  In unforeseen circumstances, the organisers may have to adjust the order.

A Master of Ceremonies will invite each team in order of the draw, to come to the front or stage to make their presentation.

The team should be ushered into position by the Chairperson who should sit down with the Speaker on their right and the Vote of Thanks on their left.  This is a team competition and each team member must conduct themselves so that they are attentive and listening to whichever team members is speaking.  Teams MAY NOT use props or enter into a dramatic performance as this is a public speaking competition.

A system of lights or coloured cards will be used to advise team members of time.  Green will indicate start, amber will warn that the allocated time is coming to an end and red will indicate the end of allocated time.

Notes may be used.  However, their use should not be too obvious – simply reading written content will be reflected in the marks.  Notes can be written on paper, card, tablet or iPad.  If electronic media is used for this purpose,  it must be used only as a reminder of the content of the speech and not as a prop or as a live means of presenting or sourcing information.  Cards as prompts are better than A4 notes but ideally teams should deliver the presentation without either.

Items other than dress or the furniture provided are not permitted to be used as props. The use of props will be severely reflected in the judges’ marks. This includes the use of power point presentation.

Where venues would benefit from amplification, static microphones will be provided for team members to use. A sound test will be arranged prior to the start of the competition. If any team member fails to use the static microphones and their words are inaudible the judges will deduct marks.

The team members will perform their roles in the following order:

Chairperson:   When the team is ready the Chairperson will stand.  From this point on the Chairperson is in control of the team’s performance until the performance is closed after the vote of thanks.  The Chairperson should briefly link the team’s presentations.  There is no time penalty involved in this part of the Chairperson’s role.

The Chairperson has two minutes to welcome the audience and to introduce the speaker.  The introduction should include the relevance or expertise of the speaker to the subject of their speech.  An amber light will indicate there are thirty seconds left of the allocated two minutes.

Speaker:  The Speaker has six minutes to speak on their chosen subject.  The Speaker may choose any subject, subject to the approval of the organisers.  Considerable discretion should be used in choosing the subject.  Sensitive subjects, such as party politics, race or religion should be avoided.  The subject may change between stages.  An amber light will indicate there is one minute left of the allocated six minutes

Chairperson:  When the speaker has finished the Chairperson will invite the questioner to ask a question

Speaker:  Before answering the question, the speaker may seek clarification of the question via the Chairperson.  The speaker, who is the subject expert, may not consult about the question with other team members.  The speaker then has about two minutes to answer the question.  An amber light will indicate two minutes are drawing to a close and after the amber light speakers should bring their response to a conclusion.  Speakers are advised to respond spontaneously, without prepared sections, to obtain high marks from the judges.

Chairperson:  When the speaker has finished answering the question, the Chairperson will introduce the proposer of the vote of thanks.

Vote of Thanks:  The vote of thanks has two minutes to propose the vote of thanks.  The vote of thanks should remark on both the content of the speech and the response to the question.  The audience should then be invited to show its appreciation of the speaker.  An amber light will indicate there are thirty seconds left of the allocated two minutes.  The speaker giving the vote of thanks is advised to respond spontaneously to the response to the question, without prepared sections, to obtain high marks from the judges.

Chairperson:  After the vote of thanks and applause the Chairperson will close the proceedings.

After the judges have determined the result of the competition, one or more judges will comment on their observations before announcing the result.

Entry Form Details

Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland (RIBI) reserves the right to retain contact details within the terms of the Data Protection Act to enable RIBI to contact and keep in touch with them as part of the Alumni of Rotary and as future potential members.

*  The information relating to the Youth Speaks Competition is provided courtesy of the Rotary Club of Great Britain and Ireland.

Crickhowell High School Youth Speaks Competition – Thurs 30th November 2017

Crickhowell High School Youth Speaks Competition Winners 2017-18

Crickhowell High School Youth Speaks Area Final Winners 14th February 2018

Well done to the Crickhowell High School winning team who won the area final.  They beat King Henry in the area final and will now go on to the district final.  The team is made up of Chairperson, Rhys Goodwin, Speaker, Millie Taylor-Haigh and Vote of Thanks, Michael Lindoewood.  They also all won the individual prizes for each role.  Their motion was ‘The Gender Stereotypes in Superhero Films’. Great result!