Speech Contests


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. The International competition has two additional levels — semifinal and the World Championship of Public Speaking®.

Each year, more than 30,000 Toastmasters compete in one or more of the following contests:


Contestants present a five- to seven- minute speech on any subject they choose. All districts must conduct this contest.


Contestants present a humorous speech that must be thematic in nature (opening, body, and close), not a monologue (series of one-liners).


Contestants observe a five-to seven-minute test speech and then present a two-to three-minute evaluation of the test speech.

Tall Tales

Contestants present a speech on a topic that is highly-exaggerated and improbable in theme or plot.

Table Topics

An impromptu speech, all contestants are assigned the same topic, told to them when they are introduced by the contest chair.

Taped Speech

A contest for undistricted clubs and provisional districts that follows the International Speech Contest rules. This contest does not advance beyond the club.

Competition begins at the club level, and winners advance to the area, division and district levels. The International competition has two additional levels—the semifinal and the World Championship of Public Speaking®.


Helpful Resources

World Championship of Public Speaking

The Toastmasters International Convention culminates in the crowning of the World Champion of Public Speaking.

Speech Contest Materials

Find a wealth of materials in the online store to help your club or district conduct speech contests.

Speech Contest Tutorials

These tutorials offers fundamental principles to help members understand speech contests.

Conducting Quality Speech Contests (PDF)

When area and division directors understand process, rules and resources, a speech contest's quality is enhanced.

Speech Contest FAQ

Get answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about Toastmasters' speech contests.

2016 Speech Contest Rulebook

Download the latest version of the essential guide to Toastmasters speech contests.

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