Set the dates for your four contests as part of your club calendar for the year. The International and Table Topics Contests are held at the club level in January and must be completed by January 31, 2017.
Plan the agenda for each contest meeting, allowing time for the briefings
Briefings should be complete prior to the start of the meeting.
Study the Toastmasters International Speech Contest Rule book.
Ensure all members have plenty of notice of the dates for the contests.
Inform your Area Director of all your contest dates.
Promote your contests through your club’s newsletter, social media including Meetup.com, and website.
Local sites (Patch.com) allow you to post events on to their calendars. Also, many local municipalities allow you to post events and meetings on their calendar as well.
Invite special guests and send confirmation email/letter. When the guest accepts then send a press release and photo to the local media.
Invite your Area Director, Division Director, and other Toastmasters and clubs in your area.
Encourage members to help promote the contest on their social media.
Send out a news release and photo to your local newspaper (guest, contest winners, etc.)
Word of mouth is still the single best way of promoting offline.
Distribute contest forms to your members so they can become familiar with them prior to the contest meeting.
Contestants are to complete the Speaker’s Certification of Eligibility and Originality and Biographical Data forms.
Contestants need to complete one form for each contest, if competing in two contests at the same meeting.
Have your Sgt at Arms organize to ensure all necessary equipment is present for the contests.
Stop watch (plus a spare, only one being allowed to be used in the contest)
Back up set of timing cards
Extension cord or spare batteries (for timing light)
Sound if needed
The Contest Chair (VPE) should:
Buy personal trophies from Toastmasters International
Buy Participation, Winners and Place Certificates or Ribbons (and a Certificate of Appreciation for Target Speaker for the Evaluation Contest) together with certificate holders (or optionally use plastic sleeves).
Check the club’s VPE stock of contest material and fill in needed items with purchase from Toastmasters International.
Judging forms for each type of contest
Tiebreaker Judging form for each type of contest
Timers Record Sheet (covers all types of contests)
Counter’s Tally Sheet and Certification of Eligibility & Originality
Biographical Information Sheet
Notification of Contest Winner form
Black felt pen for Calligrapher
Numbered cards or playing cards to draw for contestant order
Several Copies of the Speech Contest Rule book
Copies of District Contest Chairman briefing notes for each contest and copy of District Chief Judge briefing notes
The Club VPE is the Contest Chairman, although the VPE can delegate some of the duties to an experienced club member. This especially applies if the VPE wishes to enter a contest.
Appoint a Chief Judge. This can be your Area Director or an experienced club member. As part of this role is to provide education on the judging process, ensure that your appointee has the required contest judging background.
At club level, the recommended practice is to use ALL club members not otherwise engaged in the contest as judges. Some clubs will use outside club members to be their judges. Judges training is offered to every Toastmaster. Using the club members as judges at the club level is important so that they become familiar with judging.
Appoint all other contest officials
Target speaker for an evaluation contest who should not be a member of your club. A Toastmaster for the contest, unless the role is being performed by the Contest Chairman
Calligrapher for the certificates
Sergeant at Arms (2 will be needed for the Topics and Evaluation contests) plus one to cover all entries/exits.
Advise all personnel of appointment and duties in writing (email is satisfactory) and ensure that you get an acknowledgment.
The Contest Master (VPE or a nominee) reviews the contest rules with the contestants, conducts a draw for speaking positions and acquaints the contestants with the speaking area as well as checking any special requirements. Use the Briefing Scripts available on the District 44 website for this task.
The Chief Judge selects a tiebreaker judge and briefs the timers and counters. This should be done quietly before the meeting.
The Chief Judge should conduct an educational briefing for club members who are acting as judges. This is best done prior to the meeting in a separate area. This is important for all members, whether contestants, judges or officials, since the briefing by an experienced Chief Judge is the main way members are introduced and educated in the methodology of the Toastmasters judging process. Use the Chief Judge’s Briefing Script available on the District 44 website for this task, complementing with other advice on judging.
Notify local media of results together with a photo.
Thank everyone for participating and coming to the contest
Send thank you notes/emails
Send names of winners, runners up plus their forms to your Area Director. Use the Notification of Contest Winners form to send the details of winners and runners-up after club contests. Ensure that for each contestant and backup you include:
Phone and email details
Biographical information form
Completed Certification of Eligibility and Originality Form with Speech title PS All the reference material and forms you need, together with other resources, is available on or through the District website.