As an adjunct to the Toastmasters Educational Program, members may participate in speech competitions.
Contests are held twice each year. In August–November the Humorous Speech and Speech Evaluation contests take place, while in March–May, are the Tall Tales and International speech competitions.
Contestants compete within the club to determine who will be sent on to the Area competition, where they will compete against speakers in the other clubs of the Area. Winners in these competitions go on to Division contests, then District competitions. In the case of the International speech competition, speakers continue on to compete at the Region competition, and finally at the International competition.
District and International competitions are usually held in conjunction with the semiannual District Conference and the International Convention, respectively. In past years, Region speech competitions were held in conjunction with a regional conference, but as of 2009, there is a proposed change to the Toastmasters Bylaws to hold these in conjunction with the International Convention itself.
Taking part in a competition affords you the opportunity to compare your efforts to that of others. Speaking competitively introduces you to a different environment for delivering your speech, one that is rather different from the supportive environment that your club provides.
And simply auditing a competition is beneficial to the Toastmaster in numerous ways. At the speech competition, you will be hearing speeches from Toastmasters who have undergone a process of selection, so the speech will generally be a good one. Also, the speakers will usually be unfamiliar to you, which gives you the opportunity to hear new speech techniques.
In sum, attending a speech competition, whether as a contestant, judge, or auditor, is a potential learning experience not to be found within the club. As well, the gatherings afford one the opportunity to meet Toastmasters from other clubs.
A competition will be organized by a Contest Chair, presumably chosen by the club's Executive Committee.
Note that you can use your service as Contest Chair in the Competent Leadership program.
Kits for the Contest ChairEdit
- Speech Contest Judges Training program (Item 1190 $20.00)
- CD with presentation
- 10 ea 1172
- 10 ea 1184
- International Speech Contest Kit (Item 1169 $10.00)
- Evaluation Speech Contest Kit (Item 1169E $10.00)
- Humorous Speech Contest Kit (Item 1169H $10.00)
- Table Topics Speech Contest Kit (Item 1169TBL $10.00)
- Tall Tales Speech Contest Kit (Item 1169TT $10.00)
- Speech Contest Manual (Item 1173 $2.00)
- Speech Contest Rulebook (2009 Item 1171 $1.50, PDF)
- Speaker’s Certification of Eligibility and Originality (Item 1183 $0.15)
- Time Record Sheets and Instructions for Timers (Item 1175 $0.15)
- Counters’ Tally sheet (Item 1176 $0.15)
- Speech Contestant Biographical Information sheet (Item 1189 $0.15)
- Judge's Guides and Ballots (International) (Item 1172 10 ea. $1.25)
- Tiebreaking Judge's Guides and Ballot (International) (Item 1188 $0.15)
- Judge's Guides and Ballots (Humorous) (Item 1191 10 ea. $1.25)
- Tiebreaking Judge's Guides and Ballot (Humorous) (Item 1191A $0.15)
- Judge's Guides and Ballots (Evaluation) (Item 1179 10 ea. $1.25)
- Tiebreaking Judge's Guides and Ballot (Evaluation) (Item 1179A $0.15)
- Judge's Guides and Ballots (Table Topics) (Item 1180 10 ea. $1.25)
- Tiebreaking Judge's Guides and Ballot (Table Topics) (Item 1180A $0.15)
- Judge's Guides and Ballots (Tall Tales) (Item 1181 10 ea. $1.25)
- Tiebreaking Judge's Guides and Ballot (Tall Tales) (Item 1181A $0.15)
- Conducting Quality Speech Contests (PDF) District training materials, familiarizing area and division governors with judging, recognition, and speech contest basics. Includes a helpful speech contest checklist.
- Speech Contest Judges Training Program Presenter's Script (Item 1190A $6.00)
- Judge's Training Program Completion Certificate (Item 1184 $0.40)