Speech Contests

Upcoming Speech Contests

Upcoming Speech Contests (listed by date)

Why Are Speech Contests Important?

  • To provide an opportunity for speakers to improve their speaking abilities and to recognize the best as encouragement to all.
  • To provide an opportunity to learn by observing the more proficient speakers who have benefited from their Toastmasters training.

Each Toastmasters program year, District 6 conducts 2 rounds of speech contests.  The first round of speech contests is in the Fall (September-October), and the second round is in the Spring (March-April).  Speech contests start at the club level, then proceed through the area, division, and district.  Members in good standing with Toastmasters International may compete.

What’s Important When Running a Speech Contest?

Speech contests should be run in a fair, professional, and consistent manner.  Similar to sporting events, elections, and other competitions, speech contests demand attention to the rules and procedure.  The rules and procedures involved with running a speech contest should not vary between contests.  Consistency and compliance with the rules and procedures are far more important than creativity.  In professional sporting events, we (as fans) expect uniformity and consistency when it comes to officiating and the overall execution of the event.  Contestants and guests will expect the same from Toastmasters speech contests.

How Can I Conduct a Speech Contest?

The resources below will help you conduct quality speech contests in your club, area, or division.

Resource Description
Speech Contest Rulebook The source of rules and information for speech contests.  Most answers will come from this clearly written document.  Please read this and have a copy available at each contest.
Speech Contest Eligibility Checker This online tool can help you determine a member’s eligibility to compete and serve as a judge.
TI’s Speech Contest Tutorials Contains several short, useful tutorials on contests and judging. Please take a look at these.
TI’s Speech Contest FAQ A useful FAQ to consult for speech contests
Hosting a Successful Speech Contest (PDF) A PDF version of the document created by Theresa Kasel and Gretchen Coons.
Speech Contests & Judging Presentation Brian Hinton’s Presentation from the 8/27/2016 DEC training.
Humorous Speech Contest Kit (digital) Contains all the forms needed for a Humorous Speech contest.
Table Topics Speech Contest Kit (digital) Contains all the forms needed for a Table Topics contest.
International Speech Contest Kit (digital) Contains all the forms needed for an International Speech contest.
All Speech Contest Kits Lists all speech contest kits from TI.
Division Contest Staffing Worksheet Helpful worksheet to use when filling roles for a division contest.
Area Contest Staffing Worksheet Helpful worksheet to use when filling roles for an area contest.
Contest Flyer Example Simple flyer to promote your contest
Contest Program Example A contest agenda/program
Toastmaster’s Script – Fall Contests Script for the contest Toastmaster
Chief Judge’s Briefing Script – Area Contest Script for the Chief Judge at an area contest
Chief Judge’s Briefing Script – Division Contest Script for the Chief Judge at a division contest
Certification of Appreciation Template A simple certificate to create for volunteers
Contest Sign Example A sign to help guests find the contest area/room
Contest Registration Sheet A simple, customizable registration sheet


Theresa Kasel and Gretchen Coons prepared a wealth of information on how to host a successful speech contest. Gretchen presented it at the District 6 TLI July 2007.  The 50 page handout is available to you here.  It includes descriptions of the contest roles, checklists, and a template for a contest script.  Hosting a Successful Speech Contest (Word document 1.9 mb, updated July 2011).

Contest Categories and Descriptions

  • Evaluation (2-3 minutes) – To encourage development of evaluation skills.
    At the beginning of the contest, a 5-7 minute target speech will be presented.  Each contestant delivers an evaluation of the same speech.
  • Humorous Speech (5-7 minutes) – To recognize the value of humor in speaking.
  • International Speech (5-7 minutes) – (To participate in any level of the International Speech Contest, a full member must have completed at least 6 manual speeches from the Competent Communication manual prior to the club contest. )
  • Table Topics (1-2 minutes) – To encourage development of impromptu and/or extemporaneous speaking skills.
  • Tall Tales (3-5 minutes) – To provide participants the opportunity to create an original, highly improbably, humorous tale.