Run a Speech Contest

In This Article
Documents & Manuals
Judges’ Training
Quality Contests
Contestants per Contest
Printable Resources:
Upcoming Contests
Fall 2015
Humorous Speech Evaluation
Spring 2016
Table Topics

Updated: Fall 2015 – Number of Contestants per Club, Area, & Division

Hone your speaking skills in a speech contest!  Jock Elliot, 2011 World Champion of Public Speaking, suggests entering every contest you can because you will grow in so many more ways than you grow in a club.

As in previous years, participants progress from Club level contests to Area level… to Division… to District. For the International Speech Contest (only), the District winner progresses to the semi-finals at International!

Need resources for your Club, Area, Division, or District contest? Check out the end of this post for everything you need… except for the contestants!

All contestants must be Toastmasters in good standing in a Toast-masters Club in good standing. (i.e. club dues paid BEFORE the club-level speech contest.)

For the International Speech Contest has an additional requirement, contestants must have completed at least six manual speeches in the Competent Communicator Manual (a.k.a. the “Basic Manual”). Only one exception may be made to International Contest’s six-speech requirement: A charter member of a Club chartered since the previous July 1 is eligible to compete. The Club must be officially chartered prior to the Area contest.

Contestant eligibility is verified before each contest.

District level officers are ineligible for competition in any contest. See the current year’s rulebook for a complete description of rules and eligibility criteria.

Speech Contest Resources

Contest Documents and Manuals

Toastmasters International provides manuals and judging forms for club, area, division, and district contests.

As of September 1, 2011, all of the speech contest materials are available for free through the Toastmasters Shop. Take a look at the short video below to understand how to download everything you need for a speech contest.

Reminder: Here’s the address for the digital content –

Contest Rulebook

An invaluable asset for contest officials and contestants alike, the Toastmasters International Speech Contest Rulebook is updated every year for the International, Evaluation, Humorous, Table Topics, and Tall Tales speech contests. The latest version is available for download by following the instructions above. If you download the specific contest kit, you will receive the rulebook.

A summary of the changes in the 2014 Toastmasters International Speech Contest Rulebook can be viewed here: Explanation of Changes to Speech Contest Rulebook: 2013 to 2014. (Format PDF – Updated Feb 2014)

Winners of contests at each level should be documented on the Notification of Contest Winner form (downloaded in your contest kit), which should be immediately provided to the Chair for the next level of competition.

Judges’ Training

Toastmasters International offers online speech contest training. Of particular interest to the judges are sessions 2 and 3, When You’re the Judge and The Judge’s Guide and Ballot. You can watch the videos at TI’s Speech Contest Module page.

Judges should also fill out the Judge’s Certification of Eligibility and Code of Ethics. It’s available for free download.

Running Quality Contests

Area / Division Resources

Number of Contestants per Contest

Click the link at the top of the page for how many competitors may progress to the next level.

In Areas with FOUR or fewer clubs at the start of the contest season, clubs are encouraged to send up to TWO participants each, per contest, to the Area-level competition.

Per Toastmasters International, in Areas with FIVE or more clubs at the beginning of the contest season, clubs may send ONE participant each, per contest, to the Area-level competition.

In Divisions with FOUR or fewer Areas, Areas are encouraged to send up to TWO participants each, per contest, to the Division-level competition.

In Divisions with FIVE or more Areas, Areas may send ONE participant each, per contest, to the Division-level competition.

Each Division sends ONE participant to the District contests (i.e. each Division sends 1st-place winner to District).

Printable Resources

Ballots/Contest Forms (including Contestant Forms) must be downloaded from the TI Website.

Click here to see a short video on how to find them & print them from the TI website.


  • Contest Program  – Word … Customizable to fit your Contest!


Checklist, Flyer, Contest Evaluation Form

  • District Speech Contest Checklist (Excel spreadsheet) …can be modified for use in Club, Area or Division contests
  • Grade Your Contest (PDF) An evaluation form for the contests.
  • Flyer (Doc) … can be modified to promote your contest

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