Posts Tagged ‘contests’

Contest questions: What would YOU do?

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Contests are one of the easiest places to make a mistake — and yet, one of the most important events to get right, especially for members who are planning on becoming the World Champion of Public Speaking!  Here’s a few scenarios to think about.  What would YOU do?

Some of them have “right” answers per the rules, some have “right” answers per most peoples’ understanding of fairness … and some have no good answer at all.  Regardless, they are likely to start a good conversation at contest training.

Contest program & preparation

Do you include contestant names on the program?  Speech title?  Their club name and number?  Educational award level (like CC or DTM)?  Title (like club president or past district governor)?


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Getting members OUT of their club!

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Do you remember the first time you visited a new club?  Was the agenda in a different order, were there different meeting roles, did the evaluations just “feel different”?

Getting the member out of the club is a critical step to building long-term enthusiasm for Toastmasters.  Usually the focus is on going to officer training, speech contests, and district conferences, but what about visiting other clubs?

The advantage to club visits is that there are many more opportunities (every week, not a few times a year), and they’re likely closer to the member as well.

Why visit other clubs?


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Tiebreaking judge

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Challenged by trying to keep the tiebreaker judge a secret?  Does the tiebreaker judge need to be briefed too?  Try this idea, which I think is mostly within the rules, but no promises.

Put all your judging ballots, including the tiebreaker ballot, into envelopes (one each) and mix them up.  Recruit one extra judge — if you need nine, recruit ten.  Brief them all together.  Hand out the envelopes randomly, instructing the judges to put the completed ballot in the envelope for pickup.

After the contest, the ballot counters collect all the ballots together and take them for counting.  When the tiebreaker envelope is opened, it’s immediately handed to the chief judge, for use as necessary.

If you felt that not even a ballot counter should have a chance of seeing the tiebreaker ballot, you could discreetly mark that envelope in the corner before handing them out, and then look for it before they’re opened.


  • No one knows who the tiebreaker judge is until the ballots are being counted.
  • The tiebreaker judge gets briefed like the other judges.
  • No one in the audience observing the proceedings can possibly know who the tiebreaker judge is (out of the other judges).
  • The tiebreaker judge is randomly selected.

What are your thoughts?

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