“Don’t focus on winning. Focus on your message to the audience.”

– John Zimmer

District 26 contest 2016      District 26 TT contest 2016

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
  • Evaluation

There are additional roles at contests to practice your speaking:

  • Toastmaster
  • 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.


Contest Information

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 Contest Guide Checklist (Humorous Speech & Evaluation) NEW!
Looking for trained Judges?  email PQD1617@D26Leaders.org

* District 26 asks that all Judges complete Judges training either online or in personYou 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. 

3 Responses to SPEECH CONTESTS

  • Beth says:

    The guide to the International Speech and Table Topics contests is not available. Is it being revamped?

  • pcowen says:

    Ditto! I would really like to have the guide to the International Speech and Table Topics contests here for a reference and have sent members of my home club here for guidance. Does anyone read these comments? I see someone else was looking a month ago.

  • Rhea Thompson says:

    The new guide for the Table Topics and International Speech Contests is now available on the District 26 Website! Check out the Contests page which is being updated frequently.

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Current Toastmasters members may join the Speakers' Bureau to get more opportunities to speak outside of their clubs.