“Don’t focus on winning. Focus on your message to the audience.”
– John Zimmer
2016 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners of the District 26 Int’l Speech and Table Topics Contests
Speech Contests and District 26
Four speech contests are held each year. Table Topics and the International Speech contest in Spring and Humorous or Tall Tales and Evaluation in the Fall. Speech Contests are one of the many ways toastmasters can grow and perfect both speaking and leadership skills. Contests are conducted in a safe, fair environment that encourages speaking and leadership growth.
Empower Your Speaking
Participating as a contestant in a contest can take your speaking skills up a notch and help you overcome some of those speaking fears. There are four types of Contests that require speakers:
- International Speech
- Table Topics
- Humor/Tall Tales
There are additional roles at contests to practice your speaking:
- Chief Judge
- Sergeant at Arms
Empower Your Leadership
Every part of a contest requires volunteers filling key roles. These volunteers have responsibilities per Toastmasters International Rules and Regulations for conducting a fair contest. Learning about and executing these roles while working with others helps strengthen Leadership skills. Below is a list of some contest roles.
- Contest Chair: Oversees all aspects of the contest, briefs Contestants.
- Chief Judge: Briefs Judges, assigns tie-breaking Judge and ensures ballot counting is handled correctly.
- Toastmasters: Makes sure contest is running per Toastmaster International I guidelines, sets a fair environment for all contestants.
Judges *: Go through on-line training, listen carefully and rate contestants without bias.
- Ballot Counters: Collect and count Judges ballots.
- Timers: Notes each contestants time as well as judging times.
- Sergeant at Arms: Ensures contest starts on time, prepares speakers props, escorts contestants as needed, ensures no interruptions are made during contest.
- Snack/Food Chair: Coordinates food and beverages for contest.
Each contest has multiple opportunities to expand your skills. If you would like to learn more about contests or are planning a contest, follow the links below for additional information or contact the Program Quality Director.
* District 26 asks that all Judges complete Judges training either online or in person. You are encourages to take the online training or attend a TLI training when offered so you are prepared if asked to be a judge. This training enhances your skills, keeps you up to date on new rules and adds to the credibility of contests at all levels.