Toastmasters Club Contests are an absorbing activity for every Club Excom. They are a necessary evil that must be organized to encourage competition, take the speakers to the next level and perhaps give them a jump start. In other words contest is paramount in Toastmasters program; they are a shortcut to faster and bigger improvements.
If contests are paramount why there are no identified structured training programs for Excom, to conduct contests? Rather the contests are organized with little experience gathered from past experiences. Organizing club contest attracts challenges of different colors such as
- Finding Contestants.
- Contestants training and awareness.
- Judges: Finding judges; qualified and numbers.
- Role players: Trained role players.
- Resources: Venue, Documentation; Trophies; Certificates and Awards
Having said that I believe that any contest phobia can be overcome by “five “activities and they are
- Planning: No sooner Excom is installed; the team should meet to decide on the most important date i.e contest dates and make an announcement to the club members and Area Governor. Then identify various activities for the contest.
- Timeline: Set timeline to complete identified activities.
- Delegation: Delegate identified activities such as TM1 for getting role plays ; TM2 for getting Judges; TM3 getting the resources; TM for getting contestants; TM4 for organizing the venue and others.
- Collaboration: Get Excom of “3” clubs involved and enter into an exchange program for Judges and role plays.
- Feedback: Set a feedback mechanism; monthly to start with and thereafter weekly, 60 days closer to the contest.
Once you complete Planning, Timeline; Delegation and Collaboration within first 15 days of the new term; half the battle is won. Now you can focus your attention on ensuring that you have a District Champion speaker.