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Note: Created to potentially replace Contest checklist when complete.

Success-1

The guide to running a contestEdit

As a Contest Chairman, you are responsible for the execution of the contest. This checklist will help you run a successful contest.

At least 4-6 Weeks Prior to Contest Day (More for Area, Division or District Contests) Edit

  • Determine the Contests to be run (One or More of Humorous Speech, Evaluation, Table Topics, Tall Tales and International Speech Contest)
  • Convene a Committee to help run the contest (this might include a specific Contest Host Club)
  • Determine a date and venue for the contest
    • For the Evaluation Contest
      • Ensure there is a room away from the contest room, to allow preparation and insulation from speaking contestants
    • For the Table Topics Contest
      • Ensure there is a space away from the contest room, to allow insulation from speaking contestants
  • Develop a Agenda model, to determine broad time parameters for the Contest
  • Publicise the contest (consider Posters for Club Rooms and Libraries, in Newsletters, and in Local Papers)
  • Identify a Toastmaster and Chief Judge - the key roles to make your contest successful.
  • For the Evaluation Contest
    • Identify a Test Speaker, likely to be unknown by the contestants
  • Recruit backup Toastmasters, Test Speaker and Chief Judge, as a contingency

Around 2-3 Weeks Prior to Contest Day (More for Area, Division or District Contests) Edit

  • The Contest Chair or Chief Judge Needs to
    • Recruit at least 5 Contest Judges (including the Chief Judge) (5 is strongly recommended by Toastmasters International - see Contest Rules)
    • Recruit a Tiebreaker Judge (in addition to the 5 above)
    • Recruit 2 Ballot Counters
    • For the International Contest
      • Recruit an additional Ballot Counter (as strongly recommended by Contest Rules)
    • Recruit 2 Timekeepers
    • Obtain original judging forms and contestant sheets for distribution at contest night. If these are not in stock, they should be ordered from Toastmasters International.
      • Contest Rulebook
      • Speaking Order Slips (Numbers on paper, that can be drawn randomly)
      • For Humorous Speech Contest
        • Certificates of Originality and Eligibility (one per contestant per contest)
        • Bio sheets (one per contestant)
        • Judges Ballots - one per judge.
        • Tiebreaker Judge Ballot - one per contest
        • Timer's sheets - two per contest
        • Counter's sheets - two per contest
        • Notification of Winners form - one per contest
      • For Evaluation Contest
        • Certificates of Originality and Eligibility (one per contestant per contest)
        • Bio sheets (one per contestant)
        • Judges Ballots - one per judge.
        • Tiebreaker Judge Ballot - one per contest
        • Timer's sheets - two per contest
        • Counter's sheets - two per contest
        • Notification of Winners form - one per contest
      • For Table Topics Contest
        • Certificates of Originality and Eligibility (one per contestant per contest)
        • Bio sheets (one per contestant)
        • Judges Ballots - one per judge.
        • Tiebreaker Judge Ballot - one per contest
        • Timer's sheets - two per contest
        • Counter's sheets - two per contest
        • Notification of Winners form - one per contest
      • For Tall Tales Contest
        • Certificates of Originality and Eligibility (one per contestant per contest)
        • Bio sheets (one per contestant)
        • Judges Ballots - one per judge.
        • Tiebreaker Judge Ballot - one per contest
        • Timer's sheets - two per contest
        • Counter's sheets - two per contest
        • Notification of Winners form - one per contest
      • For International Speech Contest
        • Certificates of Originality and Eligibility (one per contestant per contest)
        • Bio sheets (one per contestant)
        • Judges Ballots - one per judge.
        • Tiebreaker Judge Ballot - one per contest
        • Timer's sheets - two per contest
        • Counter's sheets - two per contest
        • Notification of Winners form - one per contest

Around 2-3 Days Prior to Contest Day (More for Area, Division or District Contests) Edit

  • Verify all details with Toastmaster, Contest Chair and Chief Judge
  • Prepare one-page Agenda showing Test Speaker, Toastmasters, Contest Chair, Chief Judge and Contestants. DO NOT list speech titles, clubs, attainment levels (e.g. CTM, CC, DTM, CL, etc). DO NOT list judges.
  • The Toastmaster needs to
    • Contact each contestant to confirm attendance
    • For Evaluation Contest
      • Confirm the availability and readiness of the Test Speaker, and their Speech Title
    • For Tall Tales, Humorous and International Speech Contests
      • Contact Speech contestants and ask for Speech Titles
    • Print copies (enough for all attendees including walk-ins) of Agenda
    • Prepare Certificates of Achievement for contestants
    • For Evaluation Contest
      • Prepare a Certificate of Appreciation for the Test Speaker
    • Obtain pens for contestants to complete Eligibility and Bio forms
    • Obtain pens for judges, timekeepers and counters for completing contest forms

On Contest Day Edit

  • The Sergeant-At Arms needs to
    • Arrive 30-45 minutes before contest time
    • Have the contest room set-up before briefings begin (the SAA may need to attend briefings)
    • Prepare the contestant secure area
  • The Chief Judge needs to
    • Arrive at least 30 minutes before contest start time
    • Check off volunteers as they arrive
    • Brief all judges and timers beginning 15-20 minutes before start time
    • Let the Tie Breaker Judge know that the Chief Judge will collect their ballot.
    • Undertake Briefings as listed below.
    • Deliver Speaking Order and Speech Titles to Toastmaster
  • The Toastmaster needs to
    • Arrive 30 minutes before contest start time
    • Choose a seat near the front of the room on the side offering easy access to the front of the contest room and your seat
    • Check off contestants as they arrive
    • Have contestants complete Eligibility and Bio forms
    • Point out the Chief Judge and when Briefings will begin
    • Let the speakers know if they are going to be interviewed during the Judges Deliberation, and that their responses are expected to be brief (20-30 seconds)
    • Identify District Officers who have shown up for the contest. Make sure names and roles are understood, so that they can be introduced in order of rank (from highest to lowest) at the commencement of the Contest meeting.
    • Co-ordinate the kick-off of the contest with the Sergeant-at-Arms. Co-ordinate how control of the contest will flow from SAA to Toastmaster.
    • Obtain the Speaking order, and ensure the Speaking Order is known to the Timers
      • Above Needs work
    • Attend the Contestant briefing if possible

Briefings Edit

  • The Contestants Briefing
    • Call for Contestants and Ushers to gather at the front of the room for briefing
    • Congratulate contestants for accepting the challenge of participating in the Competition
    • Confirm that all contestants are at the right Contest Briefing.
    • Assure the contestants that the Judges are being briefed on the importance of the contest and that they need to be unbiased in their selection
    • For the Evaluation Contest
      • Explain that contestants will be escorted out of the room as a group after the Test Speaker has complete their speech.
      • In the preparation room, they will have 5 minutes to prepare their evaluations.
      • When 5 minutes is up, they should put their Names on their notes, which will then be taken away by the Usher, or Sergeant-at-Arms and given back to them just prior to their time to present
      • The evaluation contestants will be escorted in their speaking order to the contest room by the Usher. Each contestant must remain just inside the door of the contest room until the Toastmaster introduces them.
      • Contestants will be introduced with the Toastmaster stating their name twice
      • Contestants should then approach the Toastmaster, shake their hand (unless religiously inappropriate) and then begin the Evaluation.
      • Timing will start with the first word or gesture made to the audience.
      • Timing for Evaluation will be as follows
        • Green light comes on at 2 minutes
        • Yellow/Amber light comes on at 2.5 minutes
        • Red light comes on at 3 minutes
        • The red light will STAY ON until the participant has finished
        • Contestants must speak for a minimum of 1 minute, 30 seconds but no more than 3 minutes, 30 seconds or they will be disqualified
    • For the Table Topics Contest
      • Explain that contestants will be escorted out of the room at the commencement of the contest (excepting the first contestant).
      • The Table Topics contestants will be escorted in their speaking order to the contest room by the Usher. Each contestant must remain just inside the door of the contest room until the Toastmaster introduces them.
      • Contestants will be introduced with the Toastmaster stating their Name, Topic, Topic and Name
      • Contestants should then approach the Toastmaster, shake their hand (unless religiously inappropriate) and then begin the Evaluation.
      • Timing will start with the first word or gesture made to the audience.
      • Timing for Evaluation will be as follows
        • Green light comes on at 1 minutes
        • Yellow/Amber light comes on at 1.5 minutes
        • Red light comes on at 2 minutes
        • The red light will STAY ON until the participant has finished
        • Contestants must speak for a minimum of 1 minute but no more than 2 minutes, 30 seconds or they will be disqualified
    • For the Humorous Contest
      • Contestants will be introduced by the Toastmaster only by Name, Speech Title, Speech Title, Name
      • Contestants should then approach the Toastmaster, shake their hand (unless religiously inappropriate) and then begin their Speech.
      • Timing will start with the first word or gesture made to the audience.
      • Timing for the Humorous Speech Contest will be as follows
        • Green light comes on at 5 minutes
        • Yellow/Amber light comes on at 6 minutes
        • Red light comes on at 7 minutes
        • The red light will STAY ON until the participant has finished
        • Contestants must speak for a minimum of 4 minute, 30 seconds but no more than 7 minutes, 30 seconds or they will be disqualified
    • Ask if their are any questions
    • Draw for speaking order by placing numbers in a hat, and having the contestants draw for speaking order
    • Write the names and speaking order on a piece of paper for delivery to the contest Toastmaster
    • For the Tall Tales Contest
      • Contestants will be introduced by the Toastmaster only by Name, Speech Title, Speech Title, Name
      • Contestants should then approach the Toastmaster, shake their hand (unless religiously inappropriate) and then begin their Speech.
      • Timing will start with the first word or gesture made to the audience.
      • Timing for the Tall Tales Contest will be as follows *CHECK*
        • Green light comes on at 3 minutes
        • Yellow/Amber light comes on at 4 minutes
        • Red light comes on at 5 minutes
        • The red light will STAY ON until the participant has finished
        • Contestants must speak for a minimum of 2 minute, 30 seconds but no more than 5 minutes, 30 seconds or they will be disqualified
    • For the International Speech Contest
      • Contestants will be introduced by the Toastmaster only by Name, Speech Title, Speech Title, Name
      • Contestants should then approach the Toastmaster, shake their hand (unless religiously inappropriate) and then begin their Speech.
      • Timing will start with the first word or gesture made to the audience.
      • Timing for the Tall Tales Contest will be as follows *CHECK*
        • Green light comes on at 5 minutes
        • Yellow/Amber light comes on at 6 minutes
        • Red light comes on at 7 minutes
        • The red light will STAY ON until the participant has finished
        • Contestants must speak for a minimum of 5 minute, 30 seconds but no more than 7 minutes, 30 seconds or they will be disqualified
    • Ask if their are any questions
    • Draw for speaking order by placing numbers in a hat, and having the contestants draw for speaking order
    • Write the names and speaking order on a piece of paper for delivery to the contest Toastmaster


  • The Judges Briefing

The Contest Edit

  • The Sergeant-at-Arms
    • Sounds the gavel
    • Welcomes everyone
    • Introduces the Toastmaster for the event
  • The Toastmaster
    • Welcomes those present
    • Provides an upbeat introduction introducing what the audience will see during this event
    • Explains why Contests are important, commends contestants who go "outside their comfort zone" and gain such experience beyond their own clubs
    • Mention how many people from the contest will go through to the next level, and when that event is planned to be held
    • Introduces the District Officers in attendance by stating their names and having them stand in ranking order (unless any are contestants)
      • Current and Past International Directors and Officers
      • District Governor
      • Lieutenant Governor, Education and Training
      • Lieutenant Governor, Marketing
      • Public Relations Officer
      • District Secretary
      • District Treasurer
      • Immediate Past District Governor
      • Past District Governors
      • Division Governors
      • Area Governors
      • Other Dignitaries (World Champions, Political or Society guests, etc.)
    • Introduce the Chief Judge or Continue, as appropriate
    • Tell the audience that the Contestants, Judges, Timers and Counters have been briefed.
    • Confirm the Speaking order for the contestants
    • Advise that the Judges will not consider timing as this is accounted for separately
    • Request the audience to take a few seconds to check that pagers, cell phones or other devices should be Off, or at least on Silent
    • Advise that to be fair to participants, no-one should leave or enter the room while a contestant is speaking
  • State that it is very impotant to provide an "equal platform" for each contestant and adhering to these guidelines, they will have one
    • The Chief Judge, if making these announcements hands back to the Toastmaster
    • Announce that "We will now start the contest"
    • For the Evaluation Contest
      • At this time, I would like to introduce our Test Speaker, Speakers Name, Title of Speech, Title of Speech again, Speaker's Name. There should be no other introduction of the speaker than name, title, title, name.
      • After the Test Speaker has finished, congratulate the speaker, and request that the Usher or Sergeant-at-Arms escort the Evaluation contests out of the room.
      • When the contestants have exited, explain that they are being taken to a quiet room, and that they will have 5 minues to consider their Evalation content. Then, they will be brought in one by one to offer their formal evaluations of the Test Speech.
      • The Test Speaker may then be interviewed, on subjects of interest for 5 minutes - or some other activity may be undertaken (e.g. Round Robin, Table Topics).
      • When 5 minutes is up, the SAA asks each contestant to put their name on their notes, removes the notes from ALL but the first contestant (allowiing the first contestant to keep their own notes.
      • The SAA escorts the first contestant to just inside the door of the contest room. (The contestant shouldwait near the door, so that they receive a formal introduction and then get a welcoming round of applause as they approach the toastmaster).
      • Announce the beginning of the contest by saying "We will now begin our evaluation contest with our first contestant." Then introduce them using name, name.
      • Lead the applause, meet the contestant with a handshake and walk away. Do not encourage the contestant to say "thank you".... because the timer will start.
      • After the contestant has completed the evaluation, offer another handshake and say "May we please have one minute of silence while the judges mark their ballots".
    • For the Humorous Contest
      • The Toastmaster now has the challenge of getting the audience in the mood to be ready for some Humorous Speeches. Share a short humorous story with the audience, being sure to get the room ready to laugh.
      • Announce the beginning of the contest by saying "We will now begin our Humorous Contest with our first contestant." Then introduce them using "Contestant's name, Speech Title, Speech Title, Contestant's name".
      • Lead the applause, meet the contestant with a handshake and walk away. Do not encourage the contestant to say "thank you".... because the timer will start.
      • After the contestant has completed the speech, offer another handshake and say "May we please have one minute of silence while the judges mark their ballots".
    • For the International Speech Contest
      • The Toastmaster now has the challenge of getting the audience in the mood to be ready for some Humorous Speeches. Share a short humorous story with the audience, being sure to get the room ready to laugh.
      • Announce the beginning of the contest by saying "We will now begin our Humorous Contest with our first contestant." Then introduce them using "Contestant's name, Speech Title, Speech Title, Contestant's name".
      • Lead the applause, meet the contestant with a handshake and walk away. Do not encourage the contestant to say "thank you".... because the timer will start.
      • After the contestant has completed the speech, offer another handshake and say "May we please have one minute of silence while the judges mark their ballots".
    • For the Table Topics Contest
      • Announce the beginning of the contest by saying "We will now begin our Table Topics Contest with our first contestant."
      • Introduce the contestant, consistently stating the Table Topic. "Contestant's name, Table Topics Question, Table Topics Question, Contestant's name".
      • Lead the applause, meet the contestant with a handshake and walk away. Do not encourage the contestant to say "thank you".... because the timer will start.
      • After the contestant has completed their Impromptu Speech, offer another handshake and say "May we please have one minute of silence while the judges mark their ballots".
    • Continuing...
      • When the Timer indicates that one minute has passed, intruduce the next contestant with "Judges, please prepare for our next contestant.".
      • Introduce the next contestant, as before.
      • After the final contestant has presented, request silence until all the judges have cast their official votes for best evaluation. "Judges, please raise your ballot in the air when you have completed your votes, and our Chief Judge and Counters will collect the ballots." The Chief Judge should advise when all ballots have been collected. If necessary, continue the silents until all ballots have been collected.
      • Once all ballots have been collected... "Let's give the contestants another round of applause!!".

Judging Edit

  • The Judges, along with the Counters (armed with all Judging forms and Timers reports) then retire to the Deliberation Room, to come to their verdict

Announcing Results Edit

Thank Everyone Edit

After the Contest Edit

  • The Chief Judge is responsible for returning the results for the contest at the next level.

==

Timing guidelinesEdit

  • Allow at least 5 minutes per contestant for the introduction, speaking time, applause and minute of silence following.
  • Allow 5 to 10 minutes for the welcome by chair, remarks by Chief Judge and explanation of contest procedure.
  • Allow 5 to 10 minutes for the wind-up, including interview with contestants and presentation of participation certificates.
  • In a contest with four contestants, allow at least 40 minutes; in a contest with seven contestants, allow at least 55 minutes.

Brief the contestants. Edit

(See notes on specific contests below)

  • Make sure that each contestant has filled in completely the biographical information and the speaker's certification of eligibility to compete as a member in good standing of a club in good standing.
  • Show the certification forms to the Chief Judge to verify their eligibility to compete.
  • Mark slips of paper with numbers (or use playing cards)
  • Have contestants draw the slips to determine their speaking order.
  • Allow the contestants to practice walking up to the lectern, wearing a microphone if available, and observing the timing lights.
  • Inform the contestants of the recommended speaking area and overhead lighting.
  • Any contestant not present at the briefing foregoes the briefing.
  • Check the equipment. Make sure the timing lights, stop watches and microphones are working well, and that back-up equipment is in place.
  • Ensure that the timers are ready before signaling the sergeant at arms to begin the contest.
  • Remind the audience to remain seated during the contest, turn off cell phones, etc., so as not to disturb contestants while speaking.
  • Remind the audience that there will be 1 minute of silence between speeches for judges to fill out their ballots.
  • Announce the order in which the contestants will speak, according to the draw prior to the contest.
  • Ask for any questions regarding procedure. Hearing none, proceed with the contest.

Conduct the actual contest Edit

  • Sergeant at arms calls the meeting to order exactly at the appointed time and introduces the Contest Chair.
  • Contest Chair welcomes everyone, and states the purpose of the contest, as given in the rulebook.
  • Contest Chair introduces the Chief Judge.
  • Chief Judge summarizes the rules as stated in the rulebook regarding the eligibility of contestants, timing instructions, reasons for disqualification, etc. Remind the contestants, timers and audience that timing begins with the first word or with any deliberate gesture such as a staged action on the way to the lectern after being introduced. Ask for any questions regarding rules.
  • Hearing none, proceed with the contest.
  • At the conclusion of the contestant's speech, lead the applause and thank the contestant for participating, but give no other transition statement or remark or any kind.
  • Announce the first contestant by stating the contestant's name, speech title, speech title and name, exactly in that order, and with no other introduction of any kind. This is important.
  • There should be no mention of any qualifications the speaker may have (such as CTM, DTM or anything) nor of any of his or her past achievements (this is the person who won at Region last year) or of their position within Toastmasters (Our Division C Governor)
  • Lead the applause as the contestant approaches the lectern. Remain standing by your chair until acknowledged by the contestant.
  • Call on the timers to signal the end of the 1 minute of silence for the judges to mark their ballots.
  • Ask for audience silence for one minute
  • After all speakers have participated, call on the timers to signal the end of 2 minutes of silence while the judges complete their ballots.
  • Remind judges to fill in their ballots completely and to sign the ballot before tearing it off and holding completed ballots in the air for counters to collect.
  • Pause while the ballots are collected and the Chief Judge and the counters leave the room.

After the Contest:Edit

  • Call all contestants up to the lectern.
  • Interview each one according to the biographical information they filled out prior to the contest.
  • Present each with a certificate of participation.
  • Lead the applause after each speaker.
  • End the interviews at the appointed time, even if this means reducing the time for the contestant interviews and the presentation of participation certificates.
  • If there is time remaining, call for scheduled announcements only, as time permits.

Announcing the Contest Results:Edit

  • After the ballots have been counted and tallied, the Chief Judge will re-enter the contest room and give the results and the winners' certificates ready for presentation to the Contest Chair.
  • The Contest Chair reads out the name of the third place winner, calls this person forward and presents the certificate. Glance at the Chief Judge for a nod to confirm that you have read out the name correctly.
  • Read out the name of the second place winner, call this person forward and present the certificate. Again, glance at the Chief Judge for a nod to confirm that you have read out the name correctly.
  • Read out the name of the first place winner, call this person forward and present the certificate.
  • When there are 5 or more contestants, the third place winner (if wanted), the second and first place winners will be announced. When there are 4 or fewer contestants, a second place and first place winner will be announced.
  • If a contestant has been disqualified because of timing, say "A contestant has been disqualified because of timing" without revealing the contestant's name or amount of time concerned.
  • Remind judges to destroy their judging guides and not to discuss the contest results with anyone. Adjourn the meeting.
Image 4

Procedures for The Table-Topics ContestEdit

Specific briefing notesEdit

  • Advise the contestants where to stand as the table topic is being read to them.
  • Inform the contestants that the table topic will be said twice, after which they must move directly to the speaking area and begin delivering their speech.
  • All contestants except the first will be escorted from the contest room by the sergeant at arms.
  • They will be escorted back one at a time.
  • Each contestant will speak on the same table topic.
  • The table topic will be said twice, after which the contestant must move directly to the speaking area and begin delivering the speech.
  • All contestants will speak from the same area.
  • Whether or not to use the lectern is the option of the contestant.
  • Instruct the sergeant at arms to escort all contestants but the first from the contest room.
Repeat these steps for all contestants
  • When the contestant is in place, say the topic twice.
  • Call on the timers to signal the end of the 1 minute of silence for the judges to mark their ballots.
  • Ask for audience silence for one minute
  • During the minute of silence, the sergeant at arms will lead the next contestant into the contest room.
Repeat from: when the contestant is in place, say the topic twice

Procedures specific to the International Speech ContestEdit

  • Remind speakers they may remain in the room during the speeches of the other contestants, or may leave the room if they wish, escorted by the sergeant at arms.

Procedures specific to the Evaluation ContestEdit

Brief the demonstration (or "test") speakerEdit

  • Brief the test speaker.
  • Ask the test speaker about any special request for room setup, for example, how to place the lectern or where to place props before the speaker's introduction.
  • Tell the sergeant at arms of the request.
  • Make sure you have the speech title.
  • Inform the test speaker of the recommended speaking area and overhead lighting.
  • Advise the test speaker to stand while each contestant is being introduced and to remain standing until each contestant has had an opportunity to thank the speaker.
  • Check the equipment. Make sure the timing lights, stop watches and microphones are working well, and that back-up equipment is in place. Ensure that the timers are ready before signaling the sergeant at arms to begin the contest.

Describe the procedure Edit

  • First, a test speech lasting 5 to 7 minutes will be given.
  • Evaluation contest participants will then leave the contest room escorted by the sergeant at arms to a quiet room for 5 minutes to prepare their evaluations.
  • At the end of the 5 minutes, their notes will be taken away from them and returned only when each one is about to re-enter the contest room to give the evaluation.
  • All contestants will speak from the same area.
  • Whether or not to use the lectern is the option of the evaluator.
  • Lead the applause as the test speaker approaches the lectern.
  • Remain standing by your chair until acknowledged by the test speaker.
  • At the conclusion of the test speech, lead the applause for the speaker.
  • Instruct the sergeant at arms to escort the evaluation contestants from the room.
  • When they have left, call up the test speaker for a 5-minute interview and presentation of certificate of appreciation.
  • At the end of the 5 minutes, the sergeant at arms will escort the first contestant to the designated position.
  • Announce the name of the first contestant twice, and lead the applause while the contestant approaches the lectern.
  • At the conclusion of the contestant's speech, lead the applause and thank the contestant for participating, but give no other transition statement or remark or any kind.
  • During the minute of silence, the sergeant at arms will lead the next contestant into the room and return the notes.
  • Repeat as above the announcement of the second contestant's name twice, as above.

Procedures specific to The Humorous Speech ContestEdit

The procedures are exactly as for the International Speech Contest.

See also

Contest MaterialsEdit

Contest Materials Shop Home

Contest Kits

Contest Additional Materials

Contest Award Certificates

ALL Contest items

ReferencesEdit


Are you funny enough? Click on Humour for tips on humorous speaking, or click on any of the eight (8) links below
Speaking Leading
Tips Per Assignment Leadership within Toastmasters
Choose a topic Club Remedies
Current events Main Page

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