Planning Contests

Planning Resources

Contest Types and Resources (TM.org)

Contest Tutorials (TM.org)

Contest Planner Spreadsheet

Contest Requirements (As Per Tutorials)
People
ParticipantsLeadersOfficials
Make sure you meet your minimum time, and do not exceed your maximum time by more than 30 seconds to avoid disqualification.

  • International Speech Contestants
    Prepares and delivers a 5-7 speech to the audience on any topic.
    Timing: 5-7 minutes.
    Disqualification: Less than 5 minute or more than 7 minutes 30 seconds.
  • Humorous Speech Contestants
    Prepares and delivers a humorous speech, thematic in nature (opening, body, conclusion), to the audience.
    Timing: 5-7 minutes.
    Disqualification: Less than 5 minutes or more than 7 minutes 30 seconds.
  • Tall Tales Speech Contestants
    Prepares and delivers a 5-7 miniute speech with an exaggerated or improbable plot or theme.
    Timing: 5-7 minutes.
    Disqualification: Less than 5 minutes or more than 7 minutes 30 seconds.
  • Evaluation Contestants
    Observes a 5-7 minute test speech and presents a 2-3 minute evaluation.
    Timing: 2-3 minutes.
    Disqualification: Less than 2 minutes or more than 3 minutes 30 seconds.
  • Tabletopics Contestants
    Receives a question, and presents a 1-2 minute response.
    Timing: 1-2 minutes.
    Disqualification: Less than 1 minutes or more than 2 minutes 30 seconds.
  • Contest Chair
    Oversees the whole contest.
    Makes room arrangements.
    Orders materials.
  • Chief Judge
    Appoint and advise the contest roles (counters, timer, and tie-breaking judge).
    Deliver a pre-contest briefing.
    Give winners’ names to the Contest Chair.
  • Judges
    Use the Judge’s Guide and Ballot to select the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners.
  • Tie Breaking Judge
    Rank all speakers numerically on the Tie-Breaking Judge Ballot.
    Your ballot is only used if there is a tie.
  • Timers
    Record the duration of every speech/contestant.
    Submit the times to the Chief Judge immediately after the speeches.
  • Counters
    Collect and count the Judges’ Ballots when the speeches are finished.
Procedure
BriefingsProceedingsEnd & Results
  • Contestant Briefing
    1. Confirm presence & name pronunciation.
    2. Review the contest rules.
    3. Go over timing protocol.
    4. Show exact speaking area/stage.
    5. Speakers may test any amplifying equipment.
    6. Draw for speaker order.
  • Judge & Officials Briefing (Chief Judge)
    1. Judges should sit close to the speakers.
    2. Reviews Judge’s Guide and Ballot with Judges.
    3. Reviews Timer’s Sheet & Instructions with Timers.
    4. Review Counter Tally Sheet with Counters.
  • Contest Opening (Contest Chair)
    1. Explain the rules have been reviewed by Judges & Contestants.
    2. Give speaker order.
    3. Advise Contestants have been shown timing light location.
    4. Advise no photography or phones – please turn off/to silent.
  • Contestant Introductions
    1. Contestants will be introduced without remarks on their club, location of residence, or any other background information.
    2. Introduction is by Name, Speech Title, Speech Title, and Name.
    3. Observe 1 minute of silence after each Contestant so Judges can write notes.
  • After All Contestants Have Presented
    1. Judges will complete their ballots as quickly as possible.
    2. Counters collect the ballots.
    3. Chief Judge collects and verifies the Timer Sheet from the Timers.
    4. Chief Judge & Counters leave the room to tabulate the results.
  • Contestant Interviews
    1. While Chief Judge & Counters tabulate results, the Chair will introduce the contestants again.
    2. Club, area, and district of the contestant are announced.
    3. The chair briefly interviews the contestant.
    4. Then provides them with a certificate of participation.
  • Results
    1. Once all participation certificates have been delivered, the Chair receives the results from the Chief Judge.
    2. Disqualifications are announced without naming the affected participants.
    3. If there are 5 or more participants, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place are all provided.
    4. If there are 4 or less participants, only 1st and 2nd place are announced.
    5. Listed results are final unless a mistake is made – Chief Judge or Counters must immediately interrupt to correct the error.