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The upcoming Spring Contests


Speech contests are a tradition at Toastmasters. Each spring, a series of Evaluation and International Speech contests is organised, followed by a series of Table Topics and Humorous Speech contests each fall.

Competition begins with club contests, with the winners continuing on to compete through the area, division and district levels. The International Speech competition goes two levels further: semifinals and then the World Championship of Public Speaking.

The Evaluation Contest

In an evaluation contest, one single speaker (the “target speaker”) delivers one regular five-to seven-minute speech. The contestants then leave the room and have five minutes to prepare a 2-3 minutes spoken evaluation of the speech, alone, in silence. They then come back one at a time to present their evaluation, while the remaining contestants are kept in a place where they can neither hear nor see the stage.

The International speech Contest

In the International Speech contest, each contestant presents a 5-7 minute speech on any subject they choose.

It is called “international” because this particular contest is the only one (out of the four types of contest we have) to go all the way to the level of World Championship.

The Roles

  1. Contest Chair This spring in our club, the contest chair is both the coordinator and presenter (“Emcee” or “Contest Master”) of the contests.
  2. Sergeant at Arms The responsible for the venue setup, logistics, refreshments, registration, and accompaniment of evaluators between the Target Speech and the delivery of their evaluations.
  3. Target Speaker The person who delivers a speech for the evaluators to give feedback on. This is an exceptional opportunity get excellent feedback from not one but a host of evaluators, all on top of their game!
  4. Ballot Counter A minimum of two ballot counters count the ballots and they conform to the contest rules.
  5. Timer A minimum of two timers keep track of the timing of the speeches and evaluations. They are each other’s backup, in case one of them cannot pay full attention for whatever reason.
  6. Judge The panel of a minimum of five judges objectively evaluates each contestant’s speech and fills in the ballot. On this ballot, each judge notes each contestant. Then they total the scores for each contestant, and fill in the Nr 1, 2 and 3 contestants in the order of the number of points given. These ballots are then collected and counted by the Ballot Counters. The judges are anonymous; they must not inform the contestants or people in the audience of their role. The ballots differ according to the type of contest. You can find the ballots here:
  7. Chief Judge – The guarantor that all applicable rules are observed. This person recruits, coordinates and oversees the teams of judges, ballot counters and timers.
  8. Tie-Breaking Judge – This judge does a job similar to the other judges. However, his/her ballot will not be used except in case of a tie. Only the Chief Judge knows the identity of the Tie-breaking judge.

The Rules

The Speech Contest Rulebook applies to all Toastmasters contests. A copy of the currently uptodate version is available online:

In order to participate in any role at a club contest, the only requirements is to be “a member in good standing”. That is, the person must have paid the membership fee for the period in which the contest is taking place.

What’s next?

The contest season does not end at the club level!

The winners of first and second place of each contest will represent our club at the Area A4 contest that will be held in Paris on 26 March 2016. This is one of the two English-speaking areas in Northern France.

The winners of the Area A4 contest will represent our area at the Division A Conference in Paris on 16 April 2016. More information here: Here you will meet Toastmasters from clubs in Northern France, regardless of the language of the clubs.

The winners of the Division A Conference will represent our Division at the District 59 Conference on 20-22 April in Luxembourg. More information here :

At this Conference you will meet Toastmasters from throughout District 59, currently consisting of: France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland and Italy.

For the Evaluation Contest, that is the last stage.

For the International Speech contest, however, the winners will go on to the Semi-Finals, and hopefully to the World Championship of Public Speaking, from 17 through 20 August 2016, in Washington D.C., USA.

More information here:


More information:


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