Will you be one of the more than 30,000 Toastmasters who competes in a speech contest this year? Will you be one of the many more members who help plan, promote, and/or run a speech contest? We hope so! If your club doesn’t already participate in this Toastmasters tradition, now is the perfect time to start.
These contest kits from Toastmasters International contain most of what you’ll need to run a successful contest: forms, certificates, and a current copy of the contest rulebook. Download a kit and start planning your contest!
- Evaluation Speech Contest Kit
- Humorous Speech Contest Kit
- International Speech Contest Kit
- Table Topics Speech Contest Kit
- Tall Tales Speech Contest Kit
Resources for Judges
Contest judges play an important role in ensuring the best possible experience for speech contestants. As with all Toastmasters roles, the analytical skills you’ll develop as a judge will serve you well beyond the club context.
If you’re new to judging, you’ll want to start off as a voting judge. District member Bill Moylan’s Voting Judge Training is a great way to get acquainted with the basics of contest judging.
Once you have some judging experience under your belt, you may have the opportunity to serve as chief judge for a contest. The responsibilities of the chief judge are different from those of voting judges, and you’ll want to be familiar with them before you take on this role. District member Richard Durling has prepared a Chief Judge Training to bring prospective chief judges up to speed.
Frequently Asked Questions
When is my club contest?
Area, division, and district contests will be listed on the Events page. If your contest is not listed, please contact your area or division director (see the DEC Directory). For club contests, contact your club leadership.
Will contests be online this year?
For the 2021–2022 contest season, the area, division, and district contests will be online using zoom. Clubs may use whatever format best works for their club members.
Should I compete?
To quote from the September 2017 issue of the Toastmaster magazine, “By all means, yes!” If you’re eligible, taking part in a contest will help you achieve the goals that you set when you joined Toastmasters.
Am I eligible to compete?
See the rulebook for eligibility requirements. Please note that the International Speech Contest has additional requirements that other contests do not.
What are the benefits of speech contests?
- Contestants gain speaking experience, and have the opportunity to grow beyond their clubs
- Contest organizers and functionaries gain experience serving in leadership roles and on teams
- All participants have the opportunity to fulfill other personal and professional goals
- Audience members observe proficient speakers and learn about a variety of topics
- Clubs have the opportunity to build visibility and membership, and increase awareness of Toastmasters in their communities
What makes for a quality speech contest?
- Well-trained contest chair, chief judge, and judges
- Early planning
- Interesting speeches
- Suitable location
- Experienced Toastmaster
- Toastmasters branded materials
What can area and division directors do to prepare successful speech contests?
- Plan contest budget and publicity
- Read the rulebook and be able to answer questions about rules and eligibility and rules
- Plan contest budget and publicity
- Appoint a qualified, experienced chief judge who will:
- Choose fair and impartial judges
- Inform the judges, timer, and counters of their duties
- Schedule the contest with club and district contest schedules in mind. For area directors, this includes scheduling your contest at a time that doesn’t conflict with club meeting times in your area.
- Know and abide by contest rules
I have more questions. Who do I ask?
For more on contests, check out Toastmasters International’s speech contest page, as well as their list of frequently asked contest questions. If you still have questions, reach out to your Area Director (see the DEC Directory).
I have resources that I use in contests. How can I share them?
Please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Contest Resources”.