Speech contests are a Toastmasters tradition. Each year, thousands of Toastmasters compete in the Humorous, Evaluation, Tall Tales, Table Topics and International speech contests. Competition begins with club contests, and winners continue competing through the Area, Division and District levels. Winners of the District level International Speech Contest proceed to the region quarterfinal level. Following region quarterfinals, winners advance to the semifinals for a chance to take part in the World Championship of Public Speaking®.
Each year, the Toastmasters of District 20 compete in one or more of the following contests:
Contestants present a five- to seven- minute speech on any subject they choose. Starting from club level, the contest escalates to area, division, district, region and finally to the world stage, to find the World Champion of Public Speaking. These are speeches where the takeaway value is important – what is the message you want to give to the world? Only the International Speeches go beyond the district to the international stage. The rest proceed from club, area, division and culminate at the district level.
All contestants are assigned the same topic, told to them when they are introduced by the contest chair. The extempore speech is also a proven, excellent way to overcome stage fright and improve the ability to think on the go. How well can you answer an unexpected question and nail it within one to two and a half minutes?
Contestants observe a five- to seven- minute test speech and then present a two- to three- minute evaluation of the test speech. Contestants are tested on their listening, assessment, and feedback skills.
Contestants present a humorous speech that must be thematic in nature (opening, body, and close), not a monologue (series of one-liners). The speech is for five- to seven- minutes and looks for original humour, not canned or downloaded from the net.
Contestants present a speech on a topic that is highly-exaggerated and improbable in theme or plot.
A contest for undistricted clubs and provisional districts that follows the International Speech Contest rules. This contest does not advance beyond the club.