Speech Contests


International Speech Competition and Table Topics Contest – Held in February 

The International Speech competition provides an opportunity for members to put all their skills together into a performance that can take them as high as the International level. Speeches that win are typically motivational or inspirational in nature. It is a 5 to 7 minute speech on any topic, so long as it’s original. It can be funny, or serious. It should be the best speech you can give, and it must be original.

Eligibility Requirements for International Speech:

  • Have been an active member in good standing
  • Have completed six speech projects in the Competent Communication manual or a minimum of two levels in the Toastmasters Pathways learning experience.
  • Not be an officer above club level.
  • Not have won this contest at the International level

This is the only contest that goes as far as the International level. Each August, winners from all Districts compete at the International Convention for the World Championship of Public Speaking.

Table Topics Contest

The Table Topics Contest is a 1 to 2 minutes impromptu response to a selected table topic question. All contestants are taken out of the room and brought back in one by one to respond to the same question. The question or topic asked should be general in nature and not require specialized knowledge which some contestants might have while others might not. Since no contestant hears the topic before his turn to speak on it, you can judge their impromptu speaking abilities by the way in which each person’s effort stacks up against the others. This contest competes as far as the District level.


Tall Tales and Evaluation Speech Contest – Held in September

The purpose of a speech contest is to provide an opportunity for speakers to improve their speaking abilities, to recognize individual Toastmasters as an encouragement to all, and to provide an opportunity for all Toastmasters to learn by observing speakers who have benefited from their Toastmasters training. Each contest focuses on a particular set of skills, providing a terrific opportunity to learn about a specific area of communication.

The Tall Tales Speech Contest and the Evaluation Speech Contest are held simultaneously. These contests begin at the club level in September. Area 40, 41 and 42 hold will hold a joint contest in early October. The Division contest will be held late October.

Any club member in good standing is eligible to compete in these two competitions.

The Tall Tales Speech must be from three (3) to five (5) minutes. A contestant will be disqualified if the speech is less than two (2) minutes 30 seconds or more than five (5) minutes 30 seconds. The tale should be told with original content and there is no topic limitation. The subject for the Tall Tales speech must be of a highly exaggerated, improbable nature and have a theme or plot, but it has to be original – so no adaptations of children’s stories. Humor and props may be used to illustrate your story.

The Evaluation Contest features a 2 to 3 minutes evaluation of a target speaker. The target speaker gives a speech which all the evaluation contestants are to evaluate. The contestants are taken from the room and given five minutes to prepare their speeches and make notes. Then, their notes are taken away and they are brought back into the room one by one (at which time the contestant gets his notes back) to deliver their oral evaluation of the target speech. Since no contestant hears what another said about the target speech, the judges can compare the analytical abilities of the contestants.