Toastmasters International District 76

Toastmasters International District 76 Japan Communication and Leadership Program since 1924

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Speech Contest Frequently Asked Questions (2014-2015 for District 76)

Q1.  How could we ensure a fair speech contest?


A1.  On page 3, the 2014 Speech Contest Rulebook says "If you are involved in conducting or participating in a speech contest, read the rules carefully and follow them. By doing so you will ensure a fair speech contest and an enjoyable event for everyone."


Q2.  Are there the situations in which it is permissible to nominate a contestant to move forward in a speech contest?


A2.  At the club level, a contestant may be chosen by whatever means the club desires, therefore, a club may nominate their contestant(s) to the area level contest. 


Q3.  If there is only one contestant at an area speech contest, does the contest still have to be held?


A3.  Yes. And if the contestant speaks over or under time, he or she is disqualified and may not continue to the next level of the contest. 


Q4.  If there are only two contestants in an area speech contest, and the first place winner is unable to attend the next level of competition and the other contestant was disqualified, can we nominate someone else to attend the next level of competition in their stead?

A4.  No. You cannot nominate a new contestant to compete at the next level of competition, nor can you allow the disqualified contestant to compete. (quoted from the TI Website)


Q5.  Are contestants required to have completed a minimum number of manual speeches to participate in a speech contest?


A5.  The only speech contest with a minimum manual speech requirement is the International Speech Contest. To participate in any level of the International Speech Contest, a member must have completed at least project #6 from the Competent Communicational manual speech prior to the club contest. 


Q6.  Is a member allowed to act as contest chair in one speech contest and compete in another?


A6.  Yes. 


Q7.  How many contestants can participate in the area contest?


A7.  For an area with four or less clubs, each club can send two contestants.  This is a District 76 decision.

Q8.  Can a member compete in more than one area contest at a time?


A8.  A member can compete at the same time in both Japanese and English, as they are separate contests. However they cannot participate in two separate area contests in the same language for the same type of contest.

Q9.  I am going to provide an educational workshop at the next district conference, and I just won the division contest and want to proceed to the district contest. But someone said that I am not eligible to compete at the district contest. Is this true?


A9.  It is true. Also, the same rule also applies for both area and division if there is a workshop. Please note that if you are a Japanese workshop presenter and a contestant in English speech contest (or vice versa) in the SAME event, you are not allowed to take both roles.

Q10.  What are the requirements to be a judge? Do they need to have attended a Speech Contest Judges Training?


A10.  In order to be a judge one must be a member in good standing. While there are no requirements for a judge to have attended a Speech Contest Judges Training Program, but it is strongly recommended by World Headquarters.  Also, insofar as practical, it it best if the judge has completed at least project in the Competent Communication manual. 

Q11.  Who can be the chief judge?

A11.  The requirements are the same as a being a regular judge as stated in Q7.


Q12.  What is the job of the chief judge?


A12.  See the Chief Judge's Checklist in the Speech Contest Rulebook.


Q13.  I am chief judge for an upcoming area contest. Someone told me that I must nominate judges from other areas and I not allowed to nominate within my area. But it is very hard to invite judges from other areas, because other areas are very far from my area. What should I do?

A13.  According to the rulebook, you can choose an equal number of voting judges from each club in the area, or a minimum of five voting judges. As there is no requirement to choose judge from outside the area, it is ok not to follow that advice.

Q14.  I am chief judge for an upcoming area contest. May I compete in a different area contest?

A14. If the contest language for the both contests are the same, you are not allow to serve as chief judge in one area contest while you compete in other area contest, however if the contest languages are different you MAY do that,   because English speech contest and Japanese speech contest are completely different contests.  

Q15. I didn’t win in my club contest. May I serve as judge in contests in my area or other area?

A15. If you didn’t win your club contest and if you no longer wish to compete in speech contests, you have no problem in serving as judge for any speech contests in your are or other area.  Please read and comply with the judge’s code of ethics when you judge contests.

Q16. I am a dual member of two Toastmasters clubs. May I compete in one club while serving as judge in another club a as long as both are club level speech contest?

A16. Yes, you may.  You are not allowed to compete in the same contest (same dates and same venue) in which you serve as judge, however if both contests are held in different clubs, you may. 

Q17. I didn’t win a speech contest and it seems that I was disqualified for over-time.  May I know my speech contest time?

A17. Chief judge should decide whether he tells or doesn’t tell speech time. As there are no official rules about telling the speech time, chief judge should make the best decision. Please note that chief judge has to destroy judge’s ballot, counter tally sheet and time record sheet after the contest. After the chief judge destroy them, he/she cannot tell you speech time.

Q18. May I announce voting judges names?

A18. “4. Voting judges at all levels shall remain anonymous when practical.” is valid before and during the speech contest. It is not effective after the speech contest, and it is contest chair’s decision whether or not announce voting judge’s names. Please make a best decision taking all possible PROs and CONs into consideration.

Q19.  What is the difference between the contest chair and the master of ceremonies (MC)?


A19.  In general, the contest chair is the person responsible for preparing and conducting the contest and The MC is a presenter who runs the contest during the day of the contest. The contest chair and the MC can be the same person or separate people. The duties listed in the Contest Chair's Checklist in the Speech Contest Rulebook can be split in any way that is convenient. 

Q20. May I print the speech title on a contest agenda or may I show speech title in my PowerPoint slides during the speech contest?

A20. It is contest chair’s decision. If the chair decided to show the speech title, please show speech titles of all contestants. There are no rules prohibiting this. Please note that not there are very few cases where they print titles on agenda as tiles can be changed in the last minute, and in some speech contests, they don’t want to provide detail speech information to judges prior to speech contest so that they could avoid bias. You might want to know that there are no rules that prohibit providing the speech title on agenda or PowerPoint slides. Contest chair should make the best decision.

Q21.  What are the rules regarding video or audio recording a speech contest?


A21.  If you wish to record a speech contest, all speakers or presenters must give their written permission to be recorded beforehand. Any speaker who refuses should not be recorded. Upon request, any speaker or presenter is entitled to one copy of the recording at no charge. Recording should not cause a safety hazard to any in attendance, nor should it be a distraction to a speaker or presenter. 

During a district conference, recording of speakers and presenters may only occur with the permission of the Host District Chairman. Recordings of these events will be controlled by the Host District Chairman or his/her appointed representative. 


If one or more authorized Toastmasters provide recording services and tapes are made available for sale, the Toastmaster providing the services may be reimbursed only for expenses and may not profit from the recording nor charge for the use of equipment. Profits from any recording sales must be deposited in the district account.

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