Each year speech contests are held in February/March, and September/October. Contests serve several purposes – they are a useful barometer of a member’s progress, they cause members to rise to the challenge of speaking under pressure, and they provide additional goals in personal development. They’re also a lot of fun!
- International Speech Contest (February/March)
Contestants prepare a 5-7 minute speech on an inspirational theme, with competition starting at Club-level and ending at an overseas destination (usually the United States) at which the best speakers in the world vie to become the ‘World Champion of Public Speaking‘.
- Evaluation Contest (February/March)
Every role in a Toastmasters Club meeting is evaluated, so as to provide the speaker with positive feedback and constructive suggestions for improvement. This is a major feature of the Toastmasters approach to building skill in public speaking and leadership. Consequently Evaluation is also something that can be contested, and contestants listen to a target speaker, and then deliver an impromptu 3-minute evaluation of the speech. Like the International Speech Contest, this contest also delivers a World Champion.
- Table Topics Contest (September/October)
Table Topics are impromptu speeches of between 1- and 2-minutes duration. Competition starts at Club-level and finishes with a District Champion. It is not contested internationally.
- Humorous Speech Contest (September/October)
The Humorous Speech Contest is the most fun and is a prepared speech of 5- to 7-minutes duration, which has to be funny! (It’s not as easy as you’d think!). Competition starts at Club-level and finishes with a District Champion. It is not contested internationally.
Competitions can be daunting but we encourage all Toastmasters to take part because contest conditions can accelerate personal development.