District 26 - Serving Colorado, Wyoming and western Nebraska

Speech Contests

2019-2020 Speech Contests

For Fall 2019, clubs are allowed to have contests, but contests will not proceed to the area and division levels.
Contests for those levels and beyond will occur in Spring 2020.

The 2019-2020 Contests will be Table Topics Contest and the International Speech Contest.

Our Chief Judge Advisor, Carolyn Conover, recently had a Zoom training for training contest judges.  See her presentation here: Chief Judge Training 2.5.20.

Speech Contests and District 26

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
  • Humorous Speech
  • Tall Tales

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.
  • Judges: Scores and ranks contestants in accordance with contest ballot.
  • Ballot Counters: Collect and count Judges ballots.
  • Timers: Notes each contestant’s 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 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.

Per Toastmasters International guidelines, the District has accepted the following:

Eight weeks prior to the area contest, if an area has four assigned clubs or fewer in good standing, districts have the option to allow two contestants from each club to compete in the area contest.

  1. Should additional clubs charter prior to the area contest, two contestants from each club are permitted to compete.
  2. In those divisions with four assigned areas or less, districts have the option to allow the two highest-placed available contestants from each area to compete.  **applicable to Northern Division only at this time**


WHQ Policy

All district-level speech contests are to be conducted only at the annual district conference. The decision to hold contests at the area and division level rests with the district executive committee. Contests must be conducted in the same manner for all areas and divisions within the district. For those districts that decide to conduct additional contests, those contests must originate at the club level and proceed through the area, division and district levels. To reiterate: district-level contests are only to be held during the annual district conference.

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