Before the Contest Date:
Read the Speech Contest Rulebook
Ensure you understand the rules. Do not allow exceptions. If in doubt, ask the District Lieutenant Governor of Educational and Training for clarification.
Appoint your assistants for the contest
General Procedure (as per the 2013 Rulebook, page 6)
A. At each level of a Toastmasters speech contest, a specified number of judges and officials are required.
1. At club contests, a contest chair, chief judge, at least five judges, a tiebreaking judge, three counters, and two
timers are appointed, unless impractical.
2. At area contests, there shall be at least five judges or equal representation from the clubs composing the area,
unless impractical. In addition to these judges, a contest chair, chief judge, tiebreaking judge, three counters,
and two timers shall be appointed.
3. At division contests, there shall be at least seven judges equally representing the areas composing the division,
unless impractical. In addition to these judges, a contest chair, chief judge, tiebreaking judge, three counters
and two timers shall be appointed.
No judge shall be a member of any club in which a contestant is a member.
4. At district contests, there shall be at least seven judges equally representing the divisions composing the district,
unless impractical In addition to these judges, a contest chair, chief judge, tiebreaking judge, three counters and
two timers shall be appointed. No judge shall be a member of any club in which a contestant is a member.
On the Day of the Contest:
Help set up. Meet your contest officials to ensure their presence and their role.
Check the eligibility of all contestants and judges
Receive the speaker's certification of eligibility and originality forms from the Contest Chair and inspect them.
Check the signatures
For the International Speech Contest only, ensure that all contestants previously presented at least six speeches from the Communication and Leadership Program manual (the contest speech cannot be their 6th speech).
For all judges, ensure that they complete the Judge's Eligibility form (1170) and return it to you. For Area and above contests, judges must have completed at least 6 speeches from the Competent Communicator manual.
Brief the timers
Give the timers one set of timing lights and one set of coloured cards in case of failure of the lights. Set up the lights in full view of the contestants, preferably hidden from the judges and audience. Give the timers a stop watch and a Time Record Sheet. Review the timing instructions on the time record sheet. Highlight the specific timing instructions for the current contest for the benefit of the timers. Ask if there are any questions or issues.
Brief the counters
Give the counters the names of the judges and names of the contests to enter on the counter's tally sheet before the contest starts. Make sure they are ready to collect the ballots immediately after the contest. You may give them envelops in which to place the collected ballots. Have a separate envelop in which to place the tie-breaking judge's ballot, which you will collect personally. Ask if there are any questions or issues.
Brief the judges
Give each judge a judge's guide and ballot for the current contest, complete with judging criteria on the reverse side. . Emphasize the importance of the qualities of good judges and their obligations as judges to pick the top three contestants without any tie votes. Review the judging guide and criteria with the judges. Remind them to observe the Judge's Code of Ethics on the back of each guide and ballot. Instruct all judges on the correct completion of the judge's ballot. Ask if there are any questions or issues.
About the Tie-Breaker Judge: The Tie-Breaker judge does not attend the judge's briefing. Give one tie-breaking judge's guide and ballot to a tie-breaking judge, whose identity is known only to you. The tie-breaking judge must return the completed ballot after the contest personallly to you as Chief Judge.
During the Contest:
Before the contest begins, the Contest Chair will acknowledge you and ask you if all judges have been briefed and are ready to proceed. You will confirm with a yes.
*Note: Again, the tie-breaker judge does not attend the judge's briefing and is only known to the Chief Judge.
Oversee the ballot counting
Immediately after the contest is over, supervise the collection of ballots:
While the ballot counters collect ballots from judges, you collect the Time Record Sheets from the timers and collect the tie-breaking judge's ballot
Ensure ALL judges ballots were collected.
Escort the ballot counters to a private room.
Inspect all ballots to ensure they are filled out correctly. Any incomplete or improperly filled out ballot is voided.
Give the ballots to the counters and have them fill out the Counter's Tally Sheet according to its instructions. Count the ballots twice to ensure accuracy. Refer to the tie-breaking judge's ballot ONLY if there is a tie.
Inspect the Time Record Sheet(s) for any disqualifications based on timing. Draw a line through the name of any time-disqualified contestant.
Transfer the names of the first-, second- and third-place winners to the corresponding spaces on the Contest Results Form. Note on the form whether there was a time disqualification. Have the counters sign the form, and pass the completed form to the Contest Chair.
Write the names of the winners on the corresponding certificate.
When the counting is complete, place all ballots, Counter's Tally Sheet and Time Record Sheet into one envelope for safekeeping until the results are announced by the chair. Present the Contest Results Form and the winners' certificates to the Contest Chair. Never reveal any part of the ballot results.
Confirm the announcement of winners
Stand with the Contest Chair as the winners are announced. Ensure the correct ranking is given as each name is read. Correct the Contest Chair if a mistake is made and have him/her read the correction. Once all results are announced, they are FINAL.
Destroy the ballots
There is no need for a motion to destroy the ballots. Simply do so, perferably at a location other than the event premises.
What Happens If There Is a Tie?
A Toastmasters speech contest cannot have a tie for any ranking. If a judge gave two contestants the same score, then the judge must rank one over the other before submitting his/her ballot. If a judge's ballot shows two contestants at the same rank, the ballot is voided.
Transcribe Rankings to the Counter Tally Sheet
From each judge, the first-place contestant receives 3 points, second-place 2 points, third-place 1 point, and all other contestants receive zero points. The counters transcribe each judge's result to the Counters' Tally Sheet, entering points in the appropriate square under each contestant's name. The Chief Judge examines the Tie-breaking Judge's Ballot, but counts it only in the event of a tie in the top three places.
After the results from the contest judges' ballots are entered, the totals the contestants are summed. The contestant with the highest score places first, the next highest score places second, and the next highest score places third.
Break The Tie
If there is a tie in the top three rankings, break the tie using the Tie-breaking Judge's Ballot. Of the contestants tied on the Counter's Tally Sheet, the one ranked highest on the Tie-breaking Judge's Ballot takes the contested place. The other contestant takes the next lower place.
Protests and Disqualifications (item 7, page 10, 2013 Rulebook)
A. Protests concerning eligibility and originality are limited to judges and contestants. Any protest shall be lodged
with the chief judge and/or contest chair prior to the announcement of the winner and alternate(s)
B. Before a contestant can be disqualified on the basis of originality, the contestant must be given an opportunity
to respond to the judges. A majority of the judges must concur in the decision to disqualify.
C. The contest chair can disqualify a contestant on the basis of eligibility.
D. All decisions of the judges and qualifying judges are final.
Note: Managing a protest is a leadership opportunity.
Having some basic steps/ideas beforehand regarding "how" the above steps are to
be implemented, may assist you and the other officials with a fair and expedited result.