Toastmasters InternationalDistrict 84
Toastmasters International
District 84

Speech Contests

Judging Criteria^
Contest trophies

District International Speech Contest will be held at the Annual District Conference in May, 2021; Semi-finals and the World Championships are held at the International Convention iAugust. The newest Speech Contest Kits are available, featuring speech contest rules for the International, Evaluation, Humorous, Table Topics, Tall Tales and Taped Speech Contests. Once you click Add to Cart and Checkout, you will be able to download the files. The files will then be available in your My Account section of the Toastmasters International website.

Contest dates and details for Area and Division Contests will be posted as the information becomes available.

Downloads

The following are important Rule Clarifications

Judges
To be a chief judge, voting judge, or tiebreaking judge at a Toastmasters speech contest, you must meet all eligibility requirements identified below.

Timing

Two timers are appointed by the chief judge. One is provided with a stopwatch and the other with a timing device that displays green, yellow, and red colors.

In the event of technical failure of the signal or timing equipment, a speaker is allowed 30 extra seconds of overtime before being disqualified.

Tie-breaking

The tie-breaking judge's ballot must be collected by the chief judge while the counters are collecting all other judges' ballots. In the event of a tie, the chief judge consults the tie-breaking judge's ballot.

The tied contestant who received the highest ranking on the tie-breaking judge's ballot gains the contested place. Any other tied contestants are ranked in order behind that contestant.

District 84 Contest Policies

Number of Contestants for Area and Division Contests

The District will allow the clubs to send only one contestant per contest to the Area contest, regardless of number of clubs in the Area.

Likewise, the District will allow the Areas to send one contestant per Contest to the Division contest.

Trophy Size Recommendations

  • Club Trophies - maximum of 10"
  • Area Trophies - maximum of 12"
  • Division Trophies - maximum of 15"
  • District Trophies - maximum of 17"

Judging Criteria

International Speech Contest

Content (50%)

SPEECH DEVELOPMENT is the way the speaker puts ideas together so the audience can understand them. The speech is structured around a purpose, and the structure must include an opening, body and conclusion.

A good speech immediately engages the audience's attention and then moves forward to a significant conclusion. This development of the speech structure is supported by relevant examples and illustrations, facts and figures, delivered with such smoothness that they blend into the framework of the speech to present the audience with a unified whole.

EFFECTIVENESS is measured in part by the audience's reception of the speech, but a large part is your subjective judgment of how the speech came across. You should ask yourself such questions as "Was I able to determine the speaker's purpose?" "Did the speech relate directly to that purpose?" "Was the audience's interest held by the speaker?" "Was this speech subject appropriate for this particular audience?"

SPEECH VALUE justifies the act of speaking. The speaker has a responsibility to say something meaningful and original to the audience. The listeners should feel the speaker has made a contribution to their thinking. The ideas should be important ones, although this does not preclude a humorous presentation of them.

Delivery (30%)

PHYSICAL presentation of a speech carries part of the responsibility for effective communication. The speaker's appearance should reinforce the speech, whether profound, sad, humorous, instructional. Body language should support points through gestures, expressions and body positioning.

VOICE is the sound that carries the message. It should be flexible, moving from one pitch level to another for emphasis, and should have a variety of rate and volume. A good voice can be clearly heard and the words easily understood.

MANNER is the indirect revelation of the speaker's real self as the speech is delivered. The speaker should speak with enthusiasm and assurance, showing interest in the audience and confidence in their reactions.

Language (20%)

APPROPRIATENESS of language refers to the choice of words that relate to the speech purpose and to the particular audience hearing the speech. Language should promote clear understanding of thoughts, and should fit the occasion precisely.

CORRECTNESS of language ensures that attention will be directed toward what the speaker says, not how it is said. Proper use of grammar and correct pronunciation will show that the speaker is the master of the words being used.

Table Topics Contest

SPEECH DEVELOPMENT is the way the speaker puts ideas together so the audience can understand them. The Table Topics response is structured around a purpose, and this structure must include an opening, body and conclusion. The response is supported by relevant examples and illustrations, facts and figures if appropriate, and is delivered smoothly.

EFFECTIVENESS is your subjective judgment of how the response came across. Were you able to determine the speaker's purpose? Did the speech relate directly to the given question or topic? Was the response clearly and logically presented?

PHYSICAL presentation of a the response carries part of the responsibility for effective communication. The speaker's appearance should reinforce his or her response. Body language should support points through gestures, expressions and body positioning.

VOICE is the sound that carries the message. It should be flexible, moving from one pitch level to another for emphasis, and should have a variety of rate and volume. A good voice can be clearly heard and the words easily understood.

LANGUAGE refers to the choice of words that relate to the response. Language should promote clear understanding of that's and should fit the occasion precisely. Proper use of grammar and correct pronunciation will show that the speaker is the master of the words being used.

Humorous Speech Contest

SPEECH DEVELOPMENT is the way the speaker puts ideas together so the audience can understand them. The speech is structured around a purpose or theme, and the structure must include an opening, body and conclusion. A good humorous speech immediately engages the audience's attention and then builds to a significant conclusion; it is not a series of jokes or a monologue.

EFFECTIVENESS refers to your subjective judgment of how the speech came across. What was the purpose or theme of the speech? Did the speech relate directly to that purpose or theme? Was humor used effectively?

SPEECH VALUE justifies the act of speaking. The speaker has a responsibility to say something meaningful and original to the audience, even in a humorous speech. The ideas should be important, even though they are presented humorously.

AUDIENCE RESPONSE reflects the audience's reaction to the speech. Did the speech hold the audience's interest? Did people understand and laugh at the humor?

PHYSICAL presentation of a speech carries part of the responsibility for effective communication. The speaker's appearance should reinforce the speech. Body language should support points through gestures, expressions and body positioning.

VOICE is the sound that carries the message. It should be flexible, moving from one pitch level to another for emphasis, and should have a variety of rate and volume. A good voice can be clearly heard and the words easily understood.

MANNER is the indirect revelation of the speaker's real self as the speech is delivered. The speaker should speak with enthusiasm and assurance, showing interest in the audience and confidence in their reactions.

APPROPRIATENESS of language refers to the choice of words that relate to the speech purpose and to the particular audience hearing the speech. Language should promote clear understanding of thoughts, should fit the occasion and should be in good taste.

CORRECTNESS of language ensures that attention will be directed toward what the speaker says, not how it is said. Proper use of grammar and correct pronunciation will show that the speaker is the master of the words being used.

Evaluations Contest

ANALYTICAL QUALITY refers to the effectiveness of the evaluation. Every evaluation should carefully analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the speaker's presentation. Were the evaluator's comments clear and logical? Did the evaluator identify specific strengths and weaknesses of the presentation?

RECOMMENDATIONS are an important part of an evaluation. An evaluator not only points out the strengths and weaknesses of a speech, he/she also offers specific recommendations for improvement. Recommendations should be practical, helpful and positive, and they should enable the speaker to improve his or her next presentation.

TECHNIQUE refers to the manner in which the evaluator presents his/her comments and recommendations. An evaluator should be sensitive to the feelings and needs of the speaker, yet inspire and encourage the speaker in his/her future speaking efforts.

SUMMATION is how the evaluator concludes the evaluation. The conclusion should briefly summarize the evaluator's comments and suggestions, and be positive and encouraging.