Contest FAQs

Q. Where can I find information related to rules and protocols to be followed at Speech Contests?

A. Please refer to the Speech Contest Rulebook 2020-21.

Q. A club chartered 6 months ago. Are members eligible to compete in contests?

A. Yes. Members must be in good standing and their club must be in good standing for them to be eligible to contest. However, only Charter members (founder members) are eligible to contest in ISC if the club was chartered less than one year before the Area Contest.

Q. Who are "Contest Officials"? Can they participate in a contest?

A. Contest officials are contest chair, contest toastmaster, event committee chairs, chief judge, voting judges, tiebreaking judge, timers, sergeant at arms, and counters. Officials should not serve in more than one role at the same contest and they cannot compete in the contest at which they are serving as an official.

Q. Who is alternate speaker?

A. Alternate speaker is the next person in the order of results, eligible to contest after the 1st place winner, or 2nd place winner, etc.

Q. Can a member serve as a timer in one contest and participate as a contestant in another?

A. Yes.

Q. After a Club contest, how soon (or how late) can one conduct the Area Contest?

A. It is a good practice to keep a minimum of two weeks between the two contests.

Q. Can a contestant at HSC be a Chief Judge/ contest chair at Evaluation Speech contest?

A. Not if both contests are happening at the same event.

Q. A contestant has completed Level 1 in two paths under Pathways. Can he contest in International Speech Contest?

A. No. It is mandatory to have completed Level 1 and 2 of any one path in Pathways.

Q. The timer sees that a contestant, who had been disqualified on time, is announced to be at 3rd place. Can he interrupt the announcement of winners?

A. Yes, he can, and he should!

Q. A member paid his dues to the Club’s treasurer, but the Treasurer forgot to transfer the payment. Can the member contest?

A. Unfortunately no.

Q. How can one check the eligibility of a contestant at any level?

A. https://www.toastmasters.org/speech-contest-eligibility-checker This tool allows club and district officers to check membership status, club status, and if a member is serving as a club or district officer. This information can be used when determining whether members are eligible to compete in speech contests. Club officers can only check the eligibility of members within their own clubs. An area director can only check members within their area, a division director can only check members within their division, and a district director can only check members within their district.

Q. Can a dual member compete in two contests at Club level?

A. A dual member can contest in both clubs. But for Area level contest, he/she can compete in only one area contest of a given type. For ex. John Smith can contest in club A in Area N1 and club B in Area N2 in HSC. But he will have to choose one area N1 or N2 to go ahead in HSC.

Q. What should be done if a voting judge faces network issue during a contest?

A.Judge shall not vote unless have heard all contestants fully and properly. Judge shall inform the CJ as soon possible.

Q. How does a judge submit a voting ballot?

A. Use editable judge’s ballot available on District 98 website and share via email, or have printout of the ballot, fill it, and take photo of the same and share via email or WhatsApp as briefed by the CJ.

Q. How do we mark on audience reaction and other factors like body language, stage presence etc for any contestant?

A.Unfortunately, we cannot mark audience reaction as all will be on mute with video off, however body language and stage presence can still be marked with limited scope. (Reference ISC finals)

Q. Some contestants may refer to the speech on the screen. Are they to be marked down?

A.Ideally, we may not be able to understand that but if a judge understands and finds that out then can mark the contestant down in the delivery section accordingly.

Q. How should we handle when we get to know that the contestants in breakout room hear the topics during TT contest?

A.We should test audio and video in main and breakout room both before starting the contest. Ideally, we should not face this issue if breakout room is set up properly, so another recommendation is to check set up once in dry run as well.

Q. When a person is delivering a speech during HSC, what if his internet connection gets disconnected. Do we give him another opportunity?

A. Yes, he starts where he left with no grace period and this is applicable for all speeches. However, if issue is from organizer’s end then 30 seconds grace period to be given as well.

Q. During TT contest once the topic is given, if the participant cannot turn on his video due to poor connectivity, can we allow him to speak with his video turned off?

A. Yes – inform in briefing that this may or may not impact judging.

Q. For Evaluation Contests, how do we monitor the contestants during the 5 mins silence?

A. In breakout room with 2 SAAs – where contestants will have to keep their audio and video on for entire time in breakout room.

Q. Also, how do we ensure that the contestant hands over their evaluation sheet after 5 mins. Will we do it in a way like Table Topics?

A. They stop writing/typing after 5 mins in the presence of SAA in breakout room, turn their sheet around n look into camera with hands visible, with video/audio on.

Q. Will we be considering whether the contestant is sitting or standing in terms of stage usage, while judging?

A. Mark the stage presence section accordingly. Now with so many online experience and club meetings member shall get comfortable delivering speech on screen as stage.

Q. Since there are two Timers, and they will be noting times from their end, what if there is a mismatch in the times noted by them? Which time should be considered as final?

A. In normal scenario of contest in person, we have two timers where one keeps the time and write it on timer sheet for CJ and another person shows the cards correctly in time. Now with online scenario the timer to show cards and note down the time can be same considering the fact both cannot coordinate. So, second timer is backup in case first one face any technical glitch. CJ to mention who will be the primary timer and who will be secondary, and time noted by only one (who is not showing cards) will be considered.

Q. Can contestant or contest official join with multiple devices to have backup ready?

A. Yes, however contestants must declare that in start so all devices can be moved to breakout room during Evaluation and Table Topics contest.

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