Speech Contests

Upcoming Speech Contests

For the list of upcoming speech contests, see Upcoming Speech Contests (listed by date).

Why Are Speech Contests Important?

Speech contests provide the following benefits:

  • They provide an opportunity for speakers to improve their speaking abilities
  • They provide an opportunity to recognize the best speakers
  • They provide an opportunity to learn by observing other proficient speakers
  • They provide variety to the Toastmasters experience and also offer social benefits through district and inter-club events
  • They inspire and encourage us to all to grow

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 Speech Contests Will be Held in Spring 2017?

The Spring 2017 round of speech contests will be Evaluation and International Speech.  These contests will run from March-April, with the district-level contests held at the Spring Conference on May 5th (Evaluation) and May 6th (International Speech).  Descriptions of the speech contests are below, but all details on these contests can be found in the Speech Contest Rulebook:

  • Evaluation (2-3 minutes)

    • The Evaluation speech contest encourages the development of evaluation skills, which are critical to the Toastmasters education program and club quality
    • At the beginning of this contest, a 5-7 minute test speech will be presented to all Evaluation speech contestants.  Contestants will then have 5 minutes to prepare their evaluation.  After that 5 minutes, each contestant will present a 2-3 minute evaluation of the test speech.  The full contest procedure can be found in the Speech Contest Rulebook (pages 15-16).
    • This contest is open to all members who are paid members of the club, area, division, and district they’re competing within.  The club the member represents must also be in good standing.
  • International Speech (5-7 minutes)

    • A 5-7 minute speech with any general and specific purpose.  While many International Speech contestants choose to inspire, motivate, and/or persuade with their contest speech, there is no explicit requirement for this.
    • This contest ultimately leads to the World Championship of Public Speaking, which will be held at the Toastmasters International Convention in August, in Vancouver, British Columbia.  The International Speech contest is the only contest that leads to the International level, hence its name.
    • This contest is open to all members meeting the following requirements:
      • Members must be paid members of the club, area, division, and district they’re competing within.  The club the member represents must also be in good standing.  Members and their clubs must remain in good standing at each level of this contest.
      • Members must have also completed 6 speech projects in the Competent Communication manual prior to the area speech contest.
        • Charter members of a club that chartered less than one year before the club contest are permitted to compete without having completed this requirement.
    • Below are links to previous championship speeches:

Spring Speech Contest Toolkit

The resources below will help you conduct the Spring speech contests (Evaluation and International Speech contests) in your club, area, or division.

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.
Spring 2017 Speech Contest Summary A brief 1-page guide to the Spring 2017 speech contests. Presented at the January DEC.
International Speech Contest Kit (digital) Contains all the forms needed for an International Speech contest
Evaluation Speech Contest Kit (digital) Contains all the forms needed for an Evaluation Speech contest
Evaluation Contestant Notes The TI form that Evaluation speech contestants are allowed to make notes on during and after the test speech.  Ensure that each Evaluation speech contestant has a copy of this at the contest.  This is also included in the Evaluation Speech Contest Kit.
Speech Contest Eligibility Checker For area, division, and district contests. Use this online tool to determine if a member is eligibility to compete or serve as a judge.
Toastmaster Contest Scripts An overall script for the speech contest, intended to help the contest Toastmaster in briefings and during the contest.  The Toastmaster and Contest Chair should become very familiar with this script since it covers the contest flow.
Chief Judge Briefing Script Script for the Chief Judge’s briefings at a speech contest
Contest Flyer Example An example of a simple flyer to promote your contest with
Contest Program Example An example of an agenda/program for your contest
Contest Sign Example A sign to help guests find the contest area/room
Certification of Appreciation Template A simple certificate to recognize and thank volunteers with
Contest Registration Sheet A simple, customizable registration sheet
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

Other Speech Contest Resources

Resource Description
Speech Contest Tutorials Contains several short, useful tutorials on contests and judging
Speech Contest FAQ A useful FAQ to consult for speech contests
All Speech Contest Kits Lists all speech contest kits available from TI
Hosting a Successful Speech Contest Theresa Kasel and Gretchen Coons prepared a great document on how to host a successful speech contest. It includes descriptions of the contest roles, checklists, and a template for a contest script.  Although some details have changed, the document is still an excellent general resource for speech contests.

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 shouldn’t vary between contests.  Consistency and compliance with the rules and procedures are 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 expect the same from Toastmasters speech contests.

Who Can I Ask for Help Regarding Speech Contests?

For any questions related to speech contests, ask your Area Director or Harold Osmundson, District 6 Program Quality Director.