by Carolyn Curley

The Evaluation Speech Contest and the International Speech Contest are scheduled for our district, concluding at the D32 Annual Conference May 1-3, 2020. What do you need to know?

  • The most important item is the Speech Contest Rulebook, updated August 2019. . Everyone remotely interested in any aspect of contests should read the most current rulebook.

What are common concerns?

Eligibility is the most common question I encounter regarding contests. Membership must be current throughout the contest season. Club officers need to make sure that membership dues are submitted promptly before April 1, 2020 for members competing in contests AND each club must remain in good standing with 8 or more paid members as of April 1, 2020.

  • For the Evaluation Speech Contest, contestants must be a member of good standing in a club of good standing.
  • For the International Speech Contest, contestants must have completed at least six speeches in the Competent Communication manual OR earned certificates of completion in Levels 1 and 2 of any path in the Toastmasters Learning Experience. Club officers need to approve the level completion in Base Camp AND enter the educational achievements in Club Central for Pathways verification. The only exception for contestant eligibility is for charter club members of clubs chartered less than one year before the area contest.
  • District officers are not eligible to compete in speech contests.
  • Members of multiple clubs may only compete in one area contest of any given type.

Eligibility requirement for functionary roles:

  • Contest officials are the contest chair, contest toastmaster, event committee chairs, chief judge, voting judges, tiebreaking judge, timers, sergeant at arms, and counters. Officials should not serve in more than one role at the same contest and they may not compete in the contest at which they are serving as an official.
  • At contests past the club level, eligibility requirements for the chief judge, voting judge, and tie-breaking judge may be found on page 7 of the Speech Contest Rulebook.

Review the rulebook and continue working through your educational program. Volunteer to compete or to serve as an official for a speech contest. Stretch your comfort zone and meet more Toastmasters. We look forward to seeing you all at the District 32 Annual Conference to cheer on the winners of our division contests!