Why Compete in a Speech Contest?


If you are asking yourself this question, are you perhaps thinking you are not good enough to win?

Or could it be that the thought of winning only to then have to represent your Toastmasters club at the next level, the Area Contest, is daunting?

Maybe you are just not a competitive kind of person and don’t see much point in winning.

Lastly, you might have so much on your plate that you can’t see youself putting in the work and practise you expect is required to deliver a competition level speech.

Any and all of the above and many more can be valid reasons for you not to enter a Toastmasters Club Contest.

However I would now like to propose reasons for you to enter the contest and apart from winning it.

Let me number them:

1. To support your Club so they can have the experience of running a contest and learn from it. If you don’t have competitors there is no contest. No one learns anything. And the reason for a Toastmaster Club to exist is to practice Public Speaking in all its aspects.

2. To help provide an opportunity for contest Judges and contest functionaries to practice and learn their roles. This will enable them to support your club and others, innumerable other times potentially for years to come.

3. It is another opportunity to conquer fear of public speaking, by standing up and speaking. What’s the worst that can happen? You may not win – which won’t happen anyway if you don’t compete.

4. If you win but don’t want to go on to the next level, you can decline this opportunity. The speaker that placed next after you will then move up and have that opportunity.

5. You don’t have time to prepare fully? Give a speech you have given before, just modify it to suit the theme of the competition and ask your VP Education for help. In an ideal world you always have weeks and months to prepare speeches. In the real world, you seldom do. Just prepare as best you can in the time available to you and deliver your speech.

You might feel that competitions is not what you’ve signed up for. However if you don’t participate you will never know if this is something you would enjoy and learn from.

“Speech contests are an important part of the Toastmasters educational program. They
provide an opportunity for Toastmasters to gain speaking experience, as well as an
opportunity for other Toastmasters to learn by observing proficient speakers.” – 1171 Speech Contest Rulebook July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021

Go ahead and sign up, support your fellow Toastmasters and open yourself to a new experience in Public Speaking!


Post by: Massimo

Vice President Education and Membership 2020-21
Immediate Past President
Tube Talk Toastmasters Club