Links for Members

Speech Contests Beyond the Club

You will be responsible for running your own contest event, as well as supporting clubs through theirs. Here’s how….

Table of Contents

How Is Beyond the Club Different?

What needs doing during the contest is similar at all levels, but there are a few differences:

  • The number of judges needed increases at each level of contest
  • A person cannot compete AND judge above club level – they must choose one or the other
  • If a contest is not held in person, the consent of the audience for their images to possibly be used must be sought. It is sufficient to ask audience members to turn off their video feed if they do not wish to be filmed
  • Actions that could be construed as raising the profile of a contestant must be avoided
The majority of these differences are indicated in the Contest Rulebook (item no. 1171). This is revised on an annual basis. Please bear in mind that answers to Frequently Asked Questions regarding speech contests form part of the contest rules; an answer there may provide an amendment to the contest rulebook.
There is a specific training module for Area and Division contests; this consists of a Facilitators Guide and a participants workbook (item no. 1190).
The other main change is that you are the organiser, which means you do not, and should not, be trying to do everything yourself – especially on the day. Council meetings which help assign roles for contests come in handy to ensure you are not doing that. Your role is to open and close the contest meeting and introduce your contest chairs – then act as a problem-solving resource to ensure things run smoothly.

I need to run an ONLINE contest - what do I need to know?

An online contest has all the elements of one that happens in person, but some things need to be done differently.

Our District Zoom Master, Troy Smith, has put together a guide to what you need to know; you’ll find it on our District Documents page.

A Word About Accessibility

Everyone participating in a speech contest is entitled to equal opportunity. This can pose an issue for some contestants, particularly those who have low or no vision.

The Speech Contests team had this to say about equality of opportunity:

The rulebook does not specify what accommodations should be made for visually impaired contestants. As such, this is considered to be a leadership opportunity. Any leadership decisions made must be fair to all involved and must not violate the rules within the rulebook.

This means that every such contestant has the right to lead in setting up the speaking area for their convenience – particularly if a stage is in use.

In addition, the Contest Rulebook states, for the Evaluation Contest:

“Contestants may not use digital or other devices during the contest to gain an unfair advantage.”

The Speech Contests team added:

Please note that the above rule does not prohibit the use of digital and other devices. It only prohibits the use if the device provides the contestant with an unfair advantage. The  matter of what is considered to be an unfair advantage is also considered to be a leadership decision.

This means that devices designed to aid accessibility, such as digital braille notebooks, may be used in place of the sheet normally provided. Any approach can be used provided it is clear and agreed to by all contestants.

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