“No” to Fall Contests, but “Yes” to Parties

by Aug 2, 2018

We are not having any Fall Contests this year (2018). I’ve received a few queries as to why and I’ve received several queries about what options clubs have for doing something fun this fall. Here is our answer.

Background Facts

TI has declared there can be no more Fall District Conferences. The only District Conferences will be in the Spring. During the spring conference the Districts must hold an International Speech Contest and choose a representative to go on to the Regional Semi-Finals (currently held in August). All other contests are optional. TI has left it to each District to decide what to do about the other 4 allowed contests:

  • Humorous Speech
  • Table Topics
  • Tall Tales
  • Evaluation

All “official contests” must start at the Club level and advance through Area and Division, all the way to the District. If the event doesn’t go all the way to the District, it can’t be a contest. For many years, D32’s “official contest” traditions were:

Fall Contests

  • Table Topics
  • Alternate between Tall Tales and Humorous on a yearly basis

Spring Contests

  • Evaluation
  • International Speech

Last April 2018, our D32 District Council voted to not hold the Humorous Speech Contest, Table Topics Contest and Tall Tales Contests this fall. We will hold the Evaluation Contest and International Speech Contest in the spring.

What types of events can our Area, Division or District organize?

At this time, our Area, Division and District are not allowed to organize any type of speaking event other than trainings and conferences.

Our Area, Division and District can organize trainings…and very soon you’ll be hearing about a new member-focused training we are planning for this fall. We are calling it Member Development Days.

What types of events can our Club organize?

Our club can organize all types of trainings and speaking parties for ourselves. We can also invite other clubs and members to come and participate in our events. If we have several members that are attached to a particular type of speech (i.e. Tall Tales) we can organize a party focusing on just these types of speeches.

Here are few real-life examples:

  • Last May my club organized a speaking party with 8 speeches and 8 evaluations. They called it a speech-a-thon. They invited members from two neighboring clubs to participate. All types of speeches, from the legacy system and from Pathways were given.
  • The Gig Harbor Club is currently organizing a monthly Table Topics/Improv party at a local cafe and using it as a means to engage the public and recruit new members. The are calling it Gig Harbor Ad Libbers.
  • On August 1st the advanced club in Olympia is holding a special evaluation skills training event. They have invited members from all over D32 South to come and learn.
  • Years ago a club of mine planned a Ghost Story Telling Party for Halloween. We invited Ghost Story Tellers from clubs all over the district to come out and play. Fun and chills were had by all. We awarded a prize to the best Ghost Story Teller.

What can’t our Club do?

We cannot have a contest. We can organize a speech party focusing on Humorous Speeches…or Tall Tales…or Table Topics, but it can’t be contest. This means we can vote for best speaker…but we cannot have judges using the TI judging forms to determine a winner.

If our club does vote for best speaker, we can give out the prize…but there is no next level to which the speaker can progress.

The question we should be discussing with our club now is, “What do we want to do to have some fun and learn something this fall?”

If your club comes up with an interesting answer to this question, I’d love to hear about it.

Kyle Hall, 2018/19 D32 Director