The Humorous Speech and Speech Evaluation Contest
To qualify to participate in either the Humorous or Evaluation speech contest, a member must be a member in good standing and belong to a chartered club in good standing. This means the members dues have been paid to the club and the club has forwarded its members’ dues to Toastmasters International. Yes, if you just joined your club yesterday, you qualify to participate in these contests.
Humorous Speech Contest
Each speech is 5-7 minutes in length and can be about any subject as long as it is your original material. Of course, the whole idea is for your speech to be funny. But, the speeches that win have some type of message too. Stand-up comedy routines usually lose at contests whereas humorous anecdotes consistently help to win.
Here’s another way to say this: At lower levels of competition, the people who generally win are those who get the most laughs. At higher levels, every speech “gets laughs” so speech content and value plays an important role. I once counted 72 laughs by the crowd for a winning humorous speech given at our District conference.
Speech Evaluation Contest
This portion requires what we call a Test Speaker, or someone to perform a speech on any topic. The test speaker prepare a speech that is 5-7 minutes in length, but the Test Speaker is typically not timed during the presentation.
Then, each evaluator contestant is escorted out of the room. Each is brought back into the room individually to conduct a 2-3 minute evaluation. Whomever is voted to have the best evaluation wins the contest.
Note: The Test Speaker should be recruited from another club for a club contest, from another area for an Area contest and from another division for a Division contest. This tradition helps to eliminate bias and provide an equal platform for each contestant.