Two rotating series of contests are held annually in spring. Toastmasters may compete in the International Speech Contest along with either the Tall Tales Contest, the Table Topics Contest, the Evaluation Contest, or the Humorous Speech Contest.
The purpose of a speech contest is to provide an opportunity for speakers to improve their speaking abilities, to recognize individual Toastmasters as an encouragement to all, and to provide an opportunity for all Toastmasters to learn by observing speakers who have benefited from their Toastmasters training. Each contest focuses on a particular set of skills, providing a prime opportunity to learn about a specific area of communication. The different types of contests conducted in Toastmasters District 1 (coastal Los Angeles) are summarized below.
Each of these contests begins with competitions at the club level. Club winners compete at the local Area Contest. Area Contest winners compete at the local Division Contests. Division Contest winners compete at the District Conference. District International Speech contest winners will represent their respective Districts in International Speech competition at the annual Toastmaster conference held in different locations each year.
In general, to be eligible for any contest, a contestant must be a member in good standing (dues current) with a club. If a member belongs to more than one club, the member may enter the club contest for each club where he/she maintains good standing. However, a contestant may not represent more than one club at the Area level, even if the clubs are in different Areas or Divisions. District officers may not compete in any contest.
For the International Speech Contest, the contestant must have completed six speech projects from the Pathways program.
See the Speech Contest Rulebook for complete eligibility requirements. An updated copy of the rulebook is sent to clubs each year. Copies of the rulebook may also be purchased from Toastmasters International.
The following chart summarizes some of the details about speaking contests held in District 1, an organizational part of Toastmasters with a rough geographic boundary encompassing the western half of Los Angeles.
|Humorous||Evaluation||International||Table Topics||Tall Tales|
|Description||Original humorous speech with theme (no acting or monologue)||Evaluation of a normal manual speech||Original speech, any subject, often inspirational||Impromptu response to question leading to opinion or conclusion||Original imaginative, fictional short story|
|Time||5 - 7 minutes||2 - 3 minutes||5 - 7 minutes||1 - 2 minutes||3 - 5 minutes|
|Eligibility||Standard||Standard||Standard plus complete 6 CC speeches||Standard||Standard|