2016-2017 Speech Contests
FALL: “Humorous and Table Topics”
SPRING: “International and Tall Tales”
NEW: See RESOURCES (Below) for Programs, Templates, Certificates and Paperworks
See CALENDAR for Contest Dates
(Links will open in a new window)
Speech Contest Purpose
- To provide an opportunity for speakers to improve their speaking abilities and to recognize the best as encouragement to all.
- To provide an opportunity to learn by observing the more proficient speakers who have benefited from their Toastmasters training.
District 56 Annual Speech Contests
There are two cycles of Speech Contests that are district wide: Fall and Spring. Each Toastmasters club has their own contest or selection process to choose a representative from the club. Winners advance through the organizational structure in four steps of a tournament (Club – Area – Division – District 56). There are two contest categories in the Fall and also two in the Spring. An individual may compete in both contests. Contestants and their club must be in good standing with Toastmasters International.
Preparing For a Speech Contest
After getting up and giving your icebreaker, probably one of the most rewarding activities in Toastmasters is participating in a speech contest. Speech contest allow you to grow in your leadership and speaking skills as contestant, functionary, or spectator.
I love contests and would encourage you to participate at your next contest – if your club does not hold contests, consider voting for a member to represent you at the next area contest. There are many ways you can participate in a contest, though they can be broken into three categories, being a spectator, being a functionary, or being a bona fide contestant.
As a spectator, you are fulfilling two very important roles:
First, by attending a contest, you are providing the contestants an important audience that he or she can bring along on their speech journey. A great audience will listen intently and participate in the speech by laughing when appropriate, finding their eyes mist up when needed, and creating an energy in the room that the contestant will build their speech upon.
Second, you have an opportunity to learn lessons and techniques that you may not see at your club setting. Although not necessary, most contestants will present the “same” speech as they progress in their contest.
Watch as incremental changes to the speech material, body movement, and voice inflection add or detract from the core message being presented. Use similar techniques in your own speeches at your club.
Become a functionary at the next speech contest and increase your leadership skills. There are many ways for you to participate; from welcoming participants at the registration table to organizing the contest as the contest chair. Whatever your comfort level, participate at a level that will challenge you.
When you are ready, participate as a contestant at your club contest. Except for the International Speech Contest, you are eligible to compete as long as you are a member in good standing in a club in good standing.
Make sure you and your club renew your semi-annual dues on time. Competing in a contest is different than a club setting. For one, at a contest, only one person walks away with the opportunity to move to the next level. With that knowledge, you are probably going to be more serious with your message, body language, and vocal variety than you are in your club. The setting will be different than you are used to, including potential voice amplification, the use of a stage, and an audience of complete strangers. You will be required to build on the skills you have mastered while working on your presentations in the club. The one good thing, you continue to use the same speech, with refinements, as you win each level of the contest.
Speech Contest Resources:
Here are planners, templates, programs, certificates and other resources to use and adapt for your club and area contests:
Toastmasters International Information:
Contest Kits (digital downloads are free)