I’ve played many roles at Freely Speaking Toastmasters over the last twelve years, but I’ve never before chaired a contest.
Every spring, Toastmasters runs the International Speech and Evaluation Contests. In the autumn, the Humorous Speech and Table Topics Contests are held. The contests are held in most clubs; each club’s winners advance to the area contests; thence to the division contest; and finally to the district contest.
I’ve participated in each of the contests in the past, making it to the area contests and occasionally the division. I’m not competing this spring, so I’m going to run our club’s contest instead.
I sent this email to the members tonight:
I am the Contest Chair for our club contests in four weeks’ time. Do you have a desire to compete against other good speakers and evaluators? Do you want to hone a speech by delivering it to multiple appreciative audiences? Do you want to fly the Freely Speaking Toastmasters flag at the Area 31, Division C, or District 2 contests? And if you win the District 2 international speech contest (western Washington), you could potentially go on to compete at the world level.
You may already be a good speaker or evaluator, but pushing yourself through the contests will make you better.
- Speech Contestants. You must have completed six speeches from the Competent Communicator manual before the contest. You must be a member in good standing (i.e., your dues are paid up). You deliver a 5–7 minute speech on a topic of your choosing.
- Evaluation Contestants. You must be a member in good standing. Everyone will evaluate a "target speaker" (a guest from another club). You all hear the same speech, retire to another room where you write notes for five minutes, then you are taken one at a time back into the contest room to deliver a 2–3 minute evaluation.
- Chief Judge, other Judges. At least three. You evaluate the contestants according to various criteria on the judge’s ballot.
- Ballot Counters. You count the results on the ballots.
- Timers. Green, Yellow, Red. You know the drill.
- Sergeants at Arms. Escort contestants, guard doors.
- Audience. Cheer wildly.
Interested? Email me.
Some links you may find helpful: