A Look at the Toastmasters International Speech Contests

Toastmasters International  pic
Toastmasters International
Image: toastmasters.org

Bruce Weyhrauch is an experienced attorney in Juneau, Alaska. Alongside his professional responsibilities, Bruce Weyhrauch is involved with Toastmasters International, an organization that provides leadership and communication development and challenges people to become impassioned, motivating speakers.

Toastmasters promotes speech excellence in part through holding competitions throughout the year. In any given year, thousands of people participate in these contests, which are held at the area, division, and district levels. All districts hold an International contest, during which individuals have five to seven minutes to talk about any subject. The contest includes a semifinal and the World Championship of Public Speaking.

Toastmasters members may also compete in the Humorous, Evaluation, Tall Tales, and Table Topics competitions. Humorous speeches must be thematic, with an opening, body, and close, as opposed to a monologue. The Evaluation competition includes a two- or three-minute speech in criticism of a test speech. The Tall Tales competition focuses on improbable and exaggerated topics, while Table Topics involves an impromptu speech on a given subject.