Fall 2008 Club Level Contests will be Humorous Speech Contest and Evaluations.
The details are described below.
Interested in competing? Now is the time to start thinking of a topic and preparing your speech!
With the exception of the International Speech contest, held in the spring, the only requirement is that you be a member in good standing (i.e. you have to have paid your dues). This includes the Evaluation contest being held in the spring. The International Speech contest requires that contestants be in good standing and have given six speeches.
As is usual at Toastmasters there are several reasons.
Each spring we have the International Speech Contest, which was once called the Serious speech contest but this was felt to imply the skills of humor should not be used. Thus it was renamed as the International Speech Contest, so called because one person does win at the international level (other speeches only compete up to the district level). In the Fall we hold the Humorous Speech Contest where humor is expected.
With each of the major contests is paired one of the shorter contests:
For the main speech contests each contestant is introduced, gives a speech and after the applause there is a minute of silence while the judges score the speeches on a ballot supplied by Toastmasters International. You may request a copy of the ballot in advance if you are interested in seeing what categories the judges are interested in and how important each is.
The Evaluation contest is run slightly differently to be fair to contestants who come later in the contest. A 'test speaker' presents a speech for evaluation. The contestants have 5 minutes to make notes and then are lead out of the room to reenter one at a time and give their evaluation (since hearing the competitions evaluation would be an unfair advantage.
For the Table Topics contest the contestants are lead out of the room and brought back one at a time. The same question is presented and then they are to begin giving their table topic response.
Toastmasters has evolved many customs to ensure the absolute fairness of the contests. All these rules are explained to participants during the contest. But to summarize some of them: There is a prescribe manner of introducing contestants. At least two timers and two counters are appointed, to double check each other. Contests present in order determined by the drawing of lots.
Note: Time is strictly enforced during a contest in order to be fair. There is a 30 second leadway on the times posted (except for Table Topics which requires a minimum of 1 minute). If the time is listed as 5-7minutes that means that a speech of less than 4:30 minutes or longer than 7:30 minutes will be disqualified. The rules say that time limits will be enforced and there have been cases where speeches were disqualified for being 2 seconds over. Therefore, plan and practice your speech with the posted time limits in mind, and pay attention to the lights!Judging Criteria Note: the judging forms for all contests are currently being entered but so far the list is incomplete