Stay Eligible to Compete and Support!
- Ensure that you eligible to compete in the speech contests by:
- verifying your April to September 2022 renewal dues for the club you are representing has been processed no later than Thursday, March 31, 2022, and
- verify the club that you are representing has renewed enough members (at least eight) no later than Thursday, March 31, 2022.
Any speech contest role (Toastmaster, chief judge, judge, timer, ballot counter, test speaker, etc.)
- Ensure that you are eligible to serve as a contest functionary by verifying your April to September 2022 membership renewal has been processed.
How does someone confirm their April to September 2022 renewal dues have been processed?
- Visit the Toastmasters website,
- log in and visit your personal profile,
- click on “Membership History“, and
- verify that the listed End Date for the club shows September 30, 2022.
How does someone confirm their club is in good standing?
- Visit the April Dues Renewal Status report and
- verify that the club lists a status of “Verified complete”.
What Happens If A Contestant Disconnects During Their Contest Speech?
Our District’s Contestant’s Technical Interruption Guideline: If a contestant disconnects from an online contest during their speech, the timers will pause the official speech time for up to 2 minutes to allow the speaker to reconnect. After reconnecting, or if the 2 minutes of disconnection elapses, the official speech time will continue as if the technical interruption did not occur.
Contestants – Plan ahead to minimize the chances of being disconnected. Use a wired, Ethernet cable-based connection or ensure your WiFi connection is strong and resilient.
Contest Toastmaster – After the speaker reconnects, please repeat the last words we heard the contestant say.
Timers – Keep track of the time that the contestant is disconnected. If the contestant returns within two minutes, timing will resume at the first verbal or non-verbal connection with the audience (after the Toastmaster repeats their last words heard). If the contestant doesn’t return within two minutes, the timing will resume after two minutes. Time disqualification rules still apply, as applied to the official speech time (i.e., 7 minutes and 30 seconds for International Speech Contest and 3 minutes and 30 seconds for Evaluation Contest), though the total (wall-clock) time for these disqualifications can be up to 9 minutes and 30 seconds or 5 minutes and 30 seconds, respectively, as the wall-clock and official speech time can differ by up to the 2 minutes maximum-allowed disconnection time).
Use Your Own Words
Contestants – Did you know that you could be disqualified in a speech contest or evaluation contest based on what you say or what you don’t say? According to the 2021-2022 rulebook:
Contestants must create their own speeches, and each must be substantially original. Twenty-five percent or less of the speech may be devoted to quoting, paraphrasing, or referencing another person’s content. If you do quote, paraphrase, or reference it must be identified during the presentation. Evaluation Contest speeches must be limited to oral evaluations of the test speaker’s speech.
Contest Judges – Please ensure you’re knowledgeable on this originality rule (and all rules) before judging. Your Chief Judge will brief you before the contest, as leaders, we all must ensure fair contests and take ownership of our own education.
Everyone Else (e.g., audience) – Even if you believe a contestant should be disqualified (i.e., you recognize non-original content that is not identified or you believe less than 75% was original) only Contestants and Voting Judges may lodge a protest for Originality.
Source: 2021-2022 Speech Contest Rulebook, General Rules for All Toastmasters Speech Contests, Section 7
Keeping an Eye on the Timer
Contestants – There are two steps that could be taken to manage your time during a speech contest presentation:
- Before you begin your speech – Pin the timer’s video feed just before you begin your contest speech. This ensures the timer’s signals will be seen on your screen.
- During and after your speech – “In the event of technical failure of the signal or timing equipment, a speaker is allowed 30 seconds extra overtime before being disqualified.” If you believe there was a technical failure, please inform the chief judge.
Source: 2021-2022 Speech Contest Rulebook, General Rules for All Toastmasters Speech Contests, Section 6.E.7
Keep Other Contestants Out of Your Contest Speech
Contestants – Did you know that you cannot refer to another contestant or their speech during a Toastmasters speech contest? You can be disqualified (per the 2021-2022 rulebook) for referring to another contestant or their speech. If you do make such a reference (please don’t!), the judges have sole discretion on whether you are disqualified.
Contest Judges – Please ensure you’re knowledgeable on this disqualification rule (and all rules) before judging. Your Chief Judge will brief you before the contest, as leaders we all must ensure fair contests and take ownership of our own education.
Source: 2021-2022 Speech Contest Rulebook, General Rules for All Toastmasters Speech Contests, section 7.A