Speech contests are an important part of the Toastmasters educational program. They provide an opportunity for Toastmasters to gain speaking experience, as well as an opportunity for other Toastmasters to learn by observing proficient speakers. Speech contests are a Toastmasters tradition. Each year thousands of Toastmasters compete in the Humorous, Evaluation, Table Topics, Tall Tales, 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 regional quarterfinals level. Following region quarterfinals, winners advance to the semifinals for a chance to take part in the World Championship of Public Speaking®. Each year, more than 30,000 Toastmasters compete in one or more of the following contests.
This year, District 13 will be participating in the following contests:
- Contestants present a five-to-seven-minute speech on any subject they choose. All districts must conduct this contest.
- An impromptu speech; all contestants are assigned the same topic, given to them when they are introduced by the contest chair.
As the 2020-2021 District 13 Contest Season begins, it is important that every club understands exactly how many contestants they can send on to the next level of competition.
- If your club is a part of an Area with four or less clubs, each club may send two contestants from their club to the Area International Speech and Table Topics Contests. If your club is part of an Area with five or more clubs within the Area, each club can only send the first-place contestant in each contest to the Area-level Contests.
- If your Area is a part of a Division with four or less Areas, each Area may send two contestants from their Area to the Division International Speech and Table Topics Contests. If your Area is a part of a Division with five or more Areas within your Division, each Area can only send the first-place contestant in each contest to the Division-level Contests.
- Each Division will then send the first- and second-place contestants to the District 13 International Speech and Table Topics Contests.
All Speech Contests at the Area-, Division-, and District-levels must be conducted online. This applies to all Districts regardless of their local authorities’ restrictions or lack thereof, related to COVID-19. This decision was not made lightly. This decision will ensure a consistent experience for the speech contestants and officials throughout the various levels in all Districts. With contests starting as early as the end of 2020, there is too much uncertainty about the current situation and the Board felt strongly that the burden of this decision should rest with them and not be put upon our District leaders.
Resources for Online Speech Contests