Month: November 2010

Judges training is not that complicated …

TI has online judge training which covers the basic forms and rules.

0. Judges need to be told that more than anything else – they should do their best to be fair and unbiased towards all contestants.

1. Apart from the Chief Judge, judges do not need to concern themselves with timing of any contestant or whether the contestant was over or under time. they can ignore time completely and just judge the effectiveness of the speech/topic/evaluation ….

2. Judges do not need to concern themselves with deciding on a speaking area. Judges are free to penalize, enhance or do nothing to the score of any contestant who goes beyond the announced speaking are.

3. Judges are – by rule – free to ignore the score guide and use any criteria they want. This is important and part of the rules since using the guide is NOT required and is open to interpretation anyway. Note: The contestants expect the judges to use the suggested point values and criteria and TI recommends that strongly!

4. Judges need to be told that if they believe a prepared speech is not original to tell the Chief Judge.

5. Judges need to be told to destroy their scoring materials and to not discuss their decision with anyone.

6. Judges need to know that they need to break their own “tie” and write down the name of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd best speakers and sign their ballot.

7. Apart from being fair and unbiased, judges should identify themselves as to what club they are a member of in case they are not permitted to judge a particular contest because of the club affiliation of any contestant – which should be determined by the Chief Judge anyway.

8. Judges should vote for who they thought presented the best speech/who was just the best speaker during the contest (using whatever fair and unbiased criteria they apply)

9. Any other “training” and discussion of what the contest scoring guide means category by category is subjective and – in my experience – means slightly different things to different people. There is NO right answer. so it cannot be trained into judges. Maybe that sentence needs to be part of judges training.

See #0 again, That is the most important thing.

What (almost) Every Toastmaster Should Know

This only applies to 99.9% of Toastmasters so if that isn’t you, feel free to ignore it.

1. You will not become World Champion of Public Speaking.
— you will not even become your District champion.

2. You will not become a professional speaker, earning your living through speaking.

3. The great majority of professional speakers did not get to be professional speakers by being Toastmasters.

What does all that mean?

A. “if you believe it you can achieve itis wrong, but “if you don’t believe it you will not achieve it” is probably right. Keep believing – while it is not sufficient, it is necessary.

B. Toastmasters does not make professional speakers. It makes more competent communicators, people able to give better feedback and better leaders. You will never get rich or famous by becoming great at 5-7 minute speeches. What a Toastmasters club can do is provide the environment for people to improve and self-help themselves and others to life changing gains in confidence and competence.

C. That is all very good. Most Toastmasters only participate inside their own club, and they enjoy becoming and building a local community/network of supportive friends.

New (for 2011) Contest Rulebook issued

TI has issued a new speech contest rulebook effective Jan 1, 2011 It has many very good clarifications and several rule changes. It is overall a very good update making the rulebook better, clearer and more useful.

Some of the clarifications

  • The tiebreaking judge does not attend the judges’ briefing.
  • When the last contestant finishes speaking, the contest chair will ask for silence until the ballot counters have collected all ballots. (no more 1 minute or 2 minute …)
  • Judges are directed to discreetly discard their scoring forms, the chief judge is directed to keep all materials confidential – there is no need for a “motion to destroy the ballots”
  • Protests: Any protest shall be lodged with the chief judge and/or contest chair prior to the announcement of the winner and alternate(s).
  • The Chief Judge ‘provides a list showing placement of all contestants to the contest chair.

Some of the changes

  • Contestants
    To be eligible to compete in ANY contest, a member must have completed at least six speeches from the Competent Communication (Item 225) manual prior to the club contest. (Note, Toastmasters who completed older speaking awards like CTM or Able Toastmaster are considered to have met the 6 speech requirement)
  • The above change was rescinded on November 10, 2010.

  • Judges
    All judges at area, division, district, semifinal, and International speech contests must have been a Toastmasters member in good standing since July 1 of the previous year and have completed at least six Competent Communication (Item 225) manual projects. (Or be CTM, ATM, …)
  • Timing
    Two timers are appointed by the chief judge. One is provided with a stopwatch and the other with a timing device**(will be changed to signaling device) that displays green, yellow, and red colors
  • Tiebreaking
    The tiebreaking judge’s ballot must be collected by the chief judge while the counters are collecting all other judges’ ballots.
  • Official Forms
    Only official forms may be used for speech contests

What more could be done: If we want to be 100 % clear on things – some guidelines:

  • Do NOT announce whether the tie-breaking ballot was used or not
  • There is no need for a “motion to destroy the ballots”

** There is one typo in the timing section and Joe at TI is making sure it is fixed in the print version soon available for purchase. That is where the second timer uses a signaling device’ rather than a ‘timing device’.