Virtual Contest Resources

District 57 Toastmasters Virtual Speech Contests 2021

[Superseded info kept for historic purpose, see District Chief Judge for latest.
Old links removed, use superseded resources at own risk – 2022-11-05 – WKL #PRM]

Update: 7 Feb 2021

Table of Contents


Most Common Questions

District 57 Toastmasters Specific Information

Toastmasters International World Headquarters Resources

District 57 Toastmasters Specific Contest Resources

Contest Chairs/Contest Toastmasters (& District Officers) – [Link removed – 2022-11-05 – WKL #PRM]

Chief Judges –[Link removed – 2022-11-05 – WKL #PRM]

Voting Judges – [Link removed – 2022-11-05 – WKL #PRM]

Tiebreaking Judges – [Link removed – 2022-11-05 – WKL #PRM]

Ballot Counters – [Link removed – 2022-11-05 – WKL #PRM]

Timers – [Link removed – 2022-11-05 – WKL #PRM]

Sergeants-at-Arms – [Link removed – 2022-11-05 – WKL #PRM]

Contestants – [Link removed – 2022-11-05 – WKL #PRM]

Test Speakers – [Link removed – 2022-11-05 – WKL #PRM]

Resources from other Toastmasters Districts/Clubs – [Link removed – 2022-11-05 – WKL #PRM]

Zoom Skills – [Link removed – 2022-11-05 – WKL #PRM]

Change Log – [Link removed – 2022-11-05 – WKL #PRM]


Speech contests are a Toastmasters tradition. Each year, thousands of Toastmasters compete in the Humorous, Evaluation, Tall Tales, Table Topics and International speech contests. Competition begins with club contests, and winners continue competing through the Area, Division and District levels. Winners of the District level International Speech Contest proceed to the Region Quarterfinals and the semifinals for a chance to take part in the World Championship of Public Speaking®

As the COVID-19 global pandemic continues, the Toastmasters International (TI) Board of Directors mandated all Districts conduct online Area-, Division-, and District-level speech contests for the 2020-2021 Toastmasters program year.  Each contestant participates from physically-distant locations, using equipment that contestants obtain themselves.

This is an exception to General Rules for all Toastmasters Speech Contests, 2. Eligibility, A., 9, which states, “Each contestant must be physically present to compete beyond the club level. Participation by audio, video, or other remote technology is not permitted beyond the club level. Other than this exception, the Speech Contest Rulebook must be followed as far as it is applicable.”

All contestants and contest officials must be present in real time for the contest and must use a webcam and microphone to ensure they are visible and audible while delivering their speech.

Most Common Questions

Resource and Link Description / Commentary
How to request your contest information onto the calendar This is a manual process – it does not automatically populate the calendar. KM and ___ (PRM)?
Advanced: Speech Speech Contest Balloting via Google Forms and Google Sheets:

Log into whichever Google account that you wish to use for contests.  Use this link as template for your contest: 

It will ask you to make a copy onto your Google Drive.

To avoid confusion, use create a new one by copying again for each contest (evaluation speech contest uses a different ballot one from international speech contest).

Revised for 2021 contest cycle

For Chief Judges or assistants to Chief Judges. By doing so: A copy of the responses Google Sheet, which collects the ballots and time record sheets for ballot counting, will be copied into the Google account that is logged into: 

  • Copy of D57 Speech Contest Reports SAMPLE (Responses)

Three Google Forms nested to that Google Sheet will be re-created by Google automatically:

  • Copy of D57 Speech Contest Voting Judge Ballot SAMPLE
  • Copy of D57 Speech Contest Tiebreaking Judge Ballot SAMPLE

Each contest should update list of contestants from the dummy contestants, and delete extra entries

Does a Test Speaker at an evaluation contest need to be a Toastmaster? Yes.  Section 2, Eligibility, “All other contest officials and the Evaluation Contest test speaker must be paid members.” [P.7]

Test Speakers are not paid for the privilege to be evaluated.

What is the deadline a member needs to pay their dues to be eligible to compete? Contestants must be paid members in good standing for the club contest (or the club meeting where they are selected to represent the club), and they must maintain eligibility at all levels of any contests.
How do I get a Zoom session ID from the District? Preparation session: if possible, attempt a personal Zoom account (40 min)

The assumption is a club hosts a contest (as if it was an in-person contest). That club’s assigned District Zoom session ID would be used for the contest.  Please take that into consideration.

District Zoom sessions are limited. Request District Send e-mail to Ed Cullen [Link removed – 2022-11-05 – WKL #PRM]

Note: all Wednesday

Ballot – tally  
Volunteer signup  
Tiebreaking ballot handling  
List of Zoom Tech Hosts? Contact Tech Host Chair David Dai
Technical backup plan  
Contestant drop off?  

District 57 Toastmasters (D57TM) Specific Information

District 57 Toastmasters (D57TM) will host the Evaluation Speech and International Speech Contests for the 2021 contest cycle.  The District contests will be held on the Zoom video conferencing platform.

Areas Allowed to Send Two (2) Contestants

Per General Rules for All Toastmasters Speech Contests, Section 3. Selection Sequence, Subsection B, the following areas are allowed to send two (2) highest-placed, available (and qualified) contestants from each club within that area.

[Link removed – 2022-11-05 – WKL #PRM]

It was developed based on the following TI World HQ guidelines:

  1. If an Area is “small” (4 or fewer clubs in GOOD STANDING), its clubs can send their 1st and 2nd place winners to the Area contest.
  2. If an Area is “large” (5 or more clubs in GOOD STANDING), its clubs can only send their 1st place winners to the Area contest.
  3. This rule is similar for the Division contests. If a Division is “small” (4 or fewer Areas), then each of its Areas can send their 1st and 2nd place winners to the Division contest. If it’s large (5 or more Areas), only the 1st place winners can attend.

The purpose of these guidelines is to manage contest size, to ensure each contest is not too big or small.  Again, please check the attached spreadsheet to see what your situation is, and let the District Chief Judge know if you have any questions!

Recognition for Area and Division Contest Winners

D57TM Trio has decided that contest recognition this year will be electronic only – no medals or plaques.  D57TM will not order or use any medals for any contest.

If anyone orders medals on their own, the expense will not be reimbursed.

Since all contests, including the district, will be online, no one will be able to walk across the stage, or be called to the front of the room, to be presented with a medal, plaque, certificate or any other recognition item.  We did not make this decision lightly, but just don’t think the logistics of sending out all those medals is worth it.

Instead, we will use certificates that the contest chair can show on screen when winners are announced, and emailed to the winner.  You can create your own certificates, or use the Toastmasters certificates, downloadable here:

After you filled out and saved the information onto the respective PDF’s, convert them to image files that can be uploaded and displayed as virtual backgrounds on Zoom.

Either convert using a program locally (Adobe Acrobat DC or similar) or upload the PDF to convert online and download, example: Whoever will be announcing the results (Contest Chairperson/Directors) should upload the resultant image files to own Zoom virtual backgrounds to display the certificates, similar to how a Timer displays the signal.

Toastmasters International World Headquarters Resources

Resource and Link Description / Commentary
Speech Contests 
Landing page at TI HQ.  See this page for the latest version of the following documents. 
Speech Contest Tutorials (Videos) 
Fundamental principles to help members understand speech contests.

Created prior to virtual contests.

Please use the latest Web browsers.  System Requirements: Adobe Flash player version 10.0 or later.  

2020-2021 Speech Contest Rulebook (ENG) (link to PDF)For other languages, see Resource Library 
In effect from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021, features speech contest rules for the International, Evaluation, and other Speech Contests.

Check here periodically or upon announcement for the updated version. 

Latest version: 2020/02

Speech Contest Rulebook Changes 
Find out how the Speech Contest Rulebook has changed and why each change was made.

Additional basis for protest to disqualify: 1. Eligibility; 2. Originality; 3. Reference to another contestant’s speech 

Latest version: 2020/02

Online Speech Contest Exception 
Exception to General Rules for All Toastmasters Speech Contests, 2. Eligibility, A., 9, see Introduction above.


The requirements within this Exception must also be followed.

Speech Contest FAQ 
First place to look up your questions on contests.
Conducting Quality Speech Contests (PDF) 
Read this guide to understand the process, rules and resources required to enhance your speech contests.

Item 206EG Area and Division Director Training Facilitator Guide, Session 4: Conduct Quality Speech Contests © 2016

Speech Contest Materials Type “contest” as search term or 
Download the materials you need to conduct speech contests.

Adobe PDF formatted material such as forms and certificates that can be filled electronically and/or printed.

How to Appear Your Best Online 
Consider your setting, appearance, and delivery for an effective online speech.

From April 2020 Toastmasters Magazine article

Online Speech Contest Best Practices (PDF) Item 479 
Find tips and information for the logistics of your contest.

Latest version: 2020/10

Very useful document covering the basics.

Video Recording Guidelines for Online Speech Contests (PDF) 
Find helpful information on how to ensure all of your contestants comply with recording rules.

Updated for 2021 contests

Speech Contests Eligibility Assistant Allows club and district officers to check membership status, club status, and if a member is serving as a club or district officer….
Club/District officers can only check the eligibility of members within their own clubs/District. For example, 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.

To verify the eligibility of members in recently chartered clubs, or for additional questions regarding eligibility, please contact Education Services at 

TI Online Speech Contest Best Practices Zoom webinar recording 
Online Speech Contest Zoom Webinar- Shared screen with speaker view

Created for District Contest Teams, recorded in Spring 2020

TI Online Speech Contest Best Practices presentation slides 
Online Speech Contest Best Practices presentation slides

Created for District Contest Teams, produced and presented in Spring 2020

Region Quarterfinals Checklist 
Region Quarterfinals Checklist

Created for District Contest Teams, 2021

Our District Leadership team and Chairs have worked hard to develop the resources below to ensure an excellent virtual contest experience.

Change Log

Date Description Who
14 JAN 2021 Initial 2021 revision WKL
18 JAN 2021 Added link to Online Speech Contest Exception. Updated and linked Evaluation Speech Contest Script WKL
20 JAN 2021 Added (missing information to) Sergeant-at-Arms Training WKL
23 JAN 2021 Added Speech Contest Judges Training (Presenter’s Guide) on qualities of good judging as well as pitfalls to avoid ; Links to PDF of ballots, etc.  WKL
24 JAN 2021 Added (explicit/missing information to) Ballot Counter Training; Google Sheets sample for Ballot Counter; 2020 Video that provided overview that covers Ballot Counter; Added revamped Google Sheets version of the Contest Judge’s Guides for reference. WKL
26 JAN 2021 Added more content for all contest officials and contestants WKL
26 JAN 2021 Split contest official roles into specific pages WKL
0X FEB 2021 Added FAQ/Most Common Questions; added more material into specific pages WKL
05 NOV 2022 Edited for historic purpose, Google Docs links removed, see current District Chief Judge for latest information and current best practices WKL