Speech Contests 2023
This article collects content and general advice about the speech contest season 2023. Read on!
What's new in 2023?
The biggest news this year is that the board of Toastmasters International has decided that all speech contests at the Area, Division, and District levels must be conducted in either a hybrid (in which each participant can choose if they will give their speech online or in presence) or online format (all participants are online) for the 2022-2023 speech contest cycle and that Districts must select which format.
The District Executive Committee, made of the Core Team, Area Directors and Division Directors, decided to run contests in a hybrid format for 2023. This allows everyone to participate online anyway. Choosing this option, all the participants can choose to participate either online or in person. This decision applies to every level except Club — i.e., Area, Division and District.
Have this is mind when organising your speech contest! Further below you will find a webinar about this, so go and watch it!
To help you prepare hybrid contests Toastmasters International also created a document with tips and best practices. Click on the image below to see it!
Rules specific to our District
Toastmasters International allows Districts to decide on some specific aspects of the speech contests. Here is a complete list of the decisions:
- The District finals of the 2023 speech contests will take place in the Spring Conference in Tangier, Morocco, on May 19-21. Come join us!
- The speech contests in Tangier will be:
- International speech, in English
- Speech finals in Portuguese, Spanish and French
- Evaluation speech in English
- If an Area has four clubs or less the District will allow two contestants from each Club in that Area, to compete in the Area level and that we use the same rule from the Area Level to the Division Level. When it comes to the District level, each Division is allowed to advance one contestant only.
- Each Area Director and Division Director has an allowance of €25 for their Area and Division contests. This money can be spent on materials needed for the contests, including stationery, copies, badges and certificates — not on travel, food, nor accommodation. Area and Division directors can get more information from the Finance Manager.
- To participate in any level of the International Speech Contest, a member must have completed Levels 1 and 2 of any path in the Toastmasters Pathways learning experience or earned the DTM award. Contestants also need to be in good standing (fees paid).
- Any member can participate in the Portuguese, Spanish and French contests as long as they are in good standing.
Contest Officials' and Test Speakers' Eligibility
According to a new rule of the Speech Contest Rulebook (page 8):
"Candidates for elected District leader positions (i.e. District Director, Program Quality Director, Club Growth Director, Public Relations Manager, and Division Directors) for the term beginning the subsequent July 1 are ineligible to serve as a contest official or as a test speaker at the Area, Division, or District level."
Given that, currently, candidates are not openly known before the speech contests start, the District advises contest chair to ask every member they wish to count on for roles in the speech contests to excuse themselves from being contest officials if they are candidates. The same recommendation goes toward the contest master, who chooses the tie breaker judge, who also can't be candidates to elected positions.