- Know who are the Contestants and how to pronounce their names.
- Get speech titles.
- Check the eligibility of each Contestant.
- Have enough Participation Certificates and Top 3 Certificates, including a few spares in case mistakes are made in completing them. (To download, see the bottom of this page.)
- Check the lights and stop watches will be available.
Round up all the Contestants. If any are not there, carry on regardless as latecomers forfeit the right to be briefed. If a Contestant arrives after the contest has started to be introduced they also forfeit the right to participate.
- Identify the designated speaking area they can use. (It can be the whole room).
- A lectern is provided, but its use is optional.
- Timing will begin with the first definite verbal or non-verbal communication with the audience.
- Explain when the green, yellow and red lights will be turned on and the time parameters.
- Show where the timing lights will be and check that Contestants will be able to see them.
Eligibility and originality:
- Collect 'Eligibility and Originality' Certificates.
- Disqualify any Contestant not meeting the eligibility requirements.
- Protests about eligibility and originality may be lodged by a Contestant or Judge with the Contest Chair or Chief Judge before the results are announced.
- Protests about originality will be dealt with by the Chief Judge.
Draw for the speaking order:
- Ask each Contestant to pick a number.
- Write down the order of the Contestants.
- Check on name pronunciations.
Before the Contest begins
- Arrange for the Participation Certificates to be completed and signed. Give them to whoever is presenting them, if not you. If the Contestants are being interviewed, presenting the Participation Certificate is a good way of ending each interview.
- Arrange for the Top 3 Certificates to be signed and then given to the Chief Judge to write in the names at the end of the count.
- Arrange with the Sergeant at Arms that there will be no entry or exit during the speeches.For the Evaluation and Table Topics Contests, check that the Usher knows whst to do (see types of speech contest).
- Check that the Chief Judge is ready.
Before the presentation to the winners
Ask the Chief Judge if there were any time disqualifications. If there were, you should announce that there were time disqualifications without naming any Contestants (in order not to embarrass them).
Suggested Contest Chair script for the Autumn and Spring contests with record keeping forms and numbers for the draw.
Notes/script for the Autumn Contests Chair - (48 Kb)
Notes/script for the Spring Contests Chair - (43 Kb)
Contest Rules and Forms
Contest rules are here.
Contest forms and certificates can now be downloaded free.