Skip to main content

April 2024
View PDF

Feeling Competitive?

Speech contests are a Toastmasters tradition. They begin at the club level, and then winners continue competing through the area, division and district levels. However, in the International Speech Contest, district winners advance to the region quarterfinals, and winners at the regional level proceed to the Toastmasters International Convention, where they compete in the semifinals for a spot in 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

All contestants are assigned the same topic, which is announced to them by the contest chair without notice. Then they deliver an impromptu speech on the topic.

Video Speech

A contest for undistricted clubs and provisional districts that follows the International Speech Contest rules.

To learn more about Toastmasters speech contests and changes to the Speech Contest Rulebook.

Share this article
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share with email

Related Articles

Toastmasters Toolbox

Personal Growth

Should You Enter Speech Contests?

Personal Growth

Contest Life Lessons: You Don’t Have to Win to Win


Learn more about the award-winning publication.

About Magazine

Discover more about the award-winning publication.

Magazine FAQ

Answers to your common magazine questions.


How to submit an article query, photo, or story idea.


Meet the editorial team.