Support your Toastmasters Spring Speech Contest

It’s approaching Spring, and that means the arrival of bees, flowers, and … the Toastmaster Spring Speech Contests! This Spring the contests will be the Table Topics Speech Contest and the International Speech Contest.

For those who have performed six speeches already in Toastmasters, you are eligible to enter the International Speech Contest if you are a member in good standing (i.e., you have paid your dues). If you want to be in the Table Topics Speech Contest, you have no other requirement other than being a member in good standing.

Now this blog post is entitled “Support your Toastmasters Spring Speech Contest”, for the reason that, even if you decide not to enter the contest yourself, you can still support your club’s contest in two different ways.

1. Assist at the Club/Area Contest

If you are not a contestant, you can still support your club contest and then your area contest after that by taking a support role. This can be as simple as sitting as the registration desk, or it can be as demanding as being the Toastmaster (or Master of Ceremonies) of the contest itself. A contest at the club will involve a Toastmaster, a Timer, a Contest Master (to introduce each of the two contests), with the regular members acting as the Judges of the speech by voting for which speech they thought was best, just like they do at regular meetings.

At the Area Contest level, besides the Toastmaster, Contest Master, and Timer, you have Judges that are usually from a different Area and a Chief Judge who is the one who announces the winners at the end. Your Area Governor would certainly appreciate the help, and in showing up to the area contest, you can also support your club’s contest in the following way.

2. Support your Club’s Contestants

If you assist at the Area contest, you can also cheer on your own club’s contestants. But even I you don’t assist at the Area contest, you can of course do this as well. When our club sent a contestant last Fall to the Evaluation Contest, I made sure to go to the Area Contest to cheer our club member on. I sat with him, and in the various breaks in the action of the contest, we would go over the various points of what makes a good evaluation. He ended up winning 2nd place in the contest, which was exciting for him, because it was the first time he had ever been in such a speech contest in his life.

But it was a great moment for me, because I know that my club members supported me when I did my speech, and I felt good about “paying it forward” and helping those in my club who were themselves entering this time around.

Just remember, the whole point of the contest is to take your game to a new level. To do this takes experience, preparation, and enthusiasm. The club member supplies the experience and preparation of course. But by supporting your club member and attending the contest, you can help supply the enthusiasm!

Whether that club member wins or loses the contest, the club member will win by the experience he or she gains, and you will win by the camaraderie that develops when you support someone in the contest.

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