Email templates to send to contest participants

Hello Toastmasters,

Toast of Broadway are having our CONTESTS Contests on the DATE.

On behalf of my club, I would like to request any of your members who would like to be a judge and/or test speaker for these contests.

In return we would also like to offer our aid in judging or in other areas in any of your upcoming contests.

The details are:

Date: DATE
Time: 6:00pm – 8:15pm. Judges brief at 6pm sharp.
Location: Parnell Community Centre, 545 Parnell Road
Parking: Any park marked ‘Jubilee’

Thanks!
NAME
ROLE IN CLUB, Toast of Broadway
toastofbroadway.org.nz

NOTE – this has information on TT & Eval contest – update accordingly depending on contests.

Hey Toast of Broadway,

As you’ll know, we’re having our CONTEST contests on DATE, that’s in NUMBER meetings time.

These meetings are run by us, and have the help of members of other clubs for certain roles, like judges. It’s a nice to meet with members of other clubs.

The Table Topics contest is essentially just like normal Table Topics, except that all of the contestants get given the same question, and are judged on their TT speech.

For the Evaluation contest, we get a test speaker from another club to deliver a 5-7 minute speech. Each contestant then gets a few minutes to prepare an evaluation, and then they go in one at a time to deliver their 2-3 minute evaluation, which is then also judged.

The winner of each of these contests will go and represent our club at the Area level, competing against the winners of other clubs.

Roles we need filled:

  • Contestants for Table Topics contest
  • Contestants for Evaluation contest
  • Contest chair for TT contest
  • Contest chair for Eval contest
  • Timer x2 for TT contest
  • Timer x2 for Eval contest
  • Ballot counter x2 for TT contest
  • Ballot counter x2 for Eval contest
  • Sgt @ arms for TT contest
  • Sgt @ arms for Eval contest

Note that you can take part in both contests, and both do not require any preparation in advance.

These two contests will take up the entirety of our meeting time, so I’d like to see everyone taking part in the contests in some way, whether that be a contestant, or a helper, such as timer, ballot counter, contest chair etc.

I look forward to hearing back from you all, and if you have any questions, please let me know. We’ll be talking more about this at our next meeting.

Cheers,
NAME

NOTE – Attach the relevant judges guide and ballot for each contest, and the judge’s eligibility form.

Hi Everyone,

Firstly, thank you all so much for volunteering to be guest judges at the Toast of Broadway club contests on DATE. We really appreciate you taking the time.

Confirmation on the details for the contest are below:

Date: Monday, DATE,

Time: Judges briefing at 6:00pm for a 6:15pm start. Meeting will finish at approx 8:15pm

Location: Parnell Community Centre
Jubilee Building, 545 Parnell Rd, Parnell
You will find us at the top of the stairs usually in one of the rooms to the left.

Parking: Around the back of the building, and anything marked ‘Jubilee’.

The judges ballots and certificates of eligibility are attached for your reference. We will print these out for you so no need to worry about this.

Looking forward to seeing you all, let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks,
NAME,
ROLE
Toast of Broadway

NOTE – Attach or paste in the list of judges, contestants, and helpers.

Hi NAME,

As you are our chief judge we are confirming the details of who will be fulfilling the wider roles for the contest for your convenience including the names of the other judges.

We have printed all the required paperwork for contestants, judges and role holders so no need to print these out on your end.

Let me know if you need anything else!

Thanks,
NAME
Toast of Broadway

NOTE – Paste in or attach the contestant list.

Hey Toast of Broadway,

It’s almost contest time for us! On DATE we’ll be having our CONTEST TYPES contests. Below is the list of contestants and helpers for these two contests. Please reply to confirm your attendance, or if you can’t. Also let me know if I’ve missed you out of a list.

I’ll be sending out information in a separate email on how to do your helper roles, and also information on how the contest works for the contestants. Please read these emails as contests are always very busy at the start and we often don’t have time to answer everyone’s questions!

If everyone can arrive by 6pm as the contest starts at 6:15pm sharp and contestants have to be briefed. The rules are quite strict, and if you arrive after the contest starts, you won’t be allowed to participate.

Contestants
Name
Name

Helpers
Contest chair –
Timers –
Ballot counters –
Sergeant-at-arms –

If you have any questions please let me know.

Cheers,
NAME

NOTE – Attach the latest contest script and update the page numbers mentioned in this email so they’re relevant for the contest they are chairing.

Also attach contest rule book.

Also note the sentence regarding Table Topics, delete this for other contests.

Hi NAME,

Thanks for offering to take up the Contest Chair role for the clubs upcoming contest next meeting. You will need to arrive a little bit earlier (6pm at the latest) to ensure that we can get the contestant briefings underway and keep to time.

As the contest chair you will be briefing the contestants prior to the contest commencing, you will determine the contestants order by ballot, and of course you will be running the contest itself.

Attached is a document detailing the script you will need to follow for the contest. You’re running the CONTEST contest, so pay close attention to page PAGE NUM – There is also a great checklist on page PAGE NUM. Have a good read through both documents, familiarise yourself and practice – both the words and the general procedure. I suggest printing out the relevant pages and use these as your notes when presenting.

TABLE TOPICS SPECIFIC
Your job is also to come up with the one Topic for all of the contestants. It is supposed to be ‘The topic must be of reasonable length, must not require a detailed knowledge, and must lead to an opinion or conclusion’. I’d suggest you get this topic checked by someone who isn’t competing.

Below are a few important excerpts from the contest rules that will be important for you to be aware of. Try to make time to skim through the whole rulebook just in case I have missed anything. Attached is the latest rulebook.

Basic Run Through of the Night (excerpts from the Contest Rule Book)

Before the contest, contestants are briefed on the rules by the contest chair. Contestants will then draw for their speaking position with the contest chair (a pack of cards works well for this).

There will be one minute of silence between contestant speeches, during which voting judges and the tiebreaking judge will mark their ballots. All voting judges and the tiebreaking judge will judge all contestants; the chief judge does not judge contestants.

When the last contestant finishes speaking, the contest chair will ask for silence until the ballot counters have collected all ballots.

Once ballots are collected the chief judge will exit the room with the ballot counters to determine the contest winner. While waiting the contest chair will call up all speakers to hand out participation certificates. This is also the time for the contest chair to interview contestants utilising the contestant profile (generally we don’t do the interviews at the club level due to time, so no need for the contestant profiles).

After the conclusion of the contestant interviews, and once the results have been determined by the chief judge, the contest chair announces the winners of the contest in reverse order.

  1. In contests with three or more participants, a third-place winner, a second-place winner, and a first-place winner will be announced.
  2. In contests with less than three participants, a second-place winner (if applicable) and a first-place winner will be announced.

Voting judges at all levels shall remain anonymous when practical.

Do let me know if you have any questions at all!

Thanks,
NAME

NOTE – There is information about each contest – delete the unnecessary ones

Also attach the contest script as this may be helpful.

Hi NAME,

Thank you for offering to help at our contests! As you are being the Sergent-at-arms for the club contests on the DATE. I’m sending you a bit more information on how to do your role on the night.

The Chief judge, NAME, will brief you prior to the contest. Please ensure you arrive earlier than usual for the briefing (preferably a little bit before 6pm).

The Sergeant-at-arms ensures the entrances are secure during Contest, maintains order and good behavior, and escorts Contestants into the room when it’s their turn to speak.

  1. Before each contest, the Sergent-at-arms should meet with the contest chair to receive a speaking order of contestants.
  2. When instructed, lead the contestants out of the speaking room and ensure you and they know the speaking order.
  3. Once the contest begins, the Sergent-at-arms should not admit anyone while the speakers are giving their presentations.
  4. When instructed or prompted, the Sergent at Arms will let the next contestant into the speaking room.

Attached is the contest script, which gives you a good idea of how the contest will run.

For Humourous & International contests

Contestants are allowed to stay in the room throughout the contest, although they can leave the room if they do not want to watch the other contestant’s speeches. If this is the case, escort them out and let them in during the one minute before their speech.

 

For Evaluation Contest:

The Contest Master or Chief Judge will announce speaking order of Contestants during the reading of the rules.

The Test Speaker will give his/her speech.

Once the speech is over the Contestants will be escorted by the Sergeant-at-Arms to a preparation room where they will have 5 minutes to prepare their evaluations.  At the end of the 5 minutes, the Sergeant-at-Arms will collect the notes from all of the Contestants except the first one.  The first Contestant will be escorted back to this room to give the evaluation.  The other Contestants will receive their notes back as they are introduced to present their evaluations.

The Contest Chair will call for First Contestant to speak.
After the first response, Contest Master calls for:
“One minute of silence for the Judges to mark their Ballots.”

During this one minute, the SAA goes to the waiting area and escorts the second Contestant to the room and has them stand to the side of the speaking area until called by the Contest Master.

After each Contestant speaks, the SAA retrieves the next Contestant until finished.

 

For Table Topics Contest:

The Contest Chair will announce speaking order of Contestants during the reading of the rules.  After that, the Chief Judge will request the Contestants be escorted from the room to a waiting area by the Sergeant-at-Arms, with the exception of the first speaker.

There will be a minute of silence during which the SAA will have time to return to the room, where the SAA will remain while Contestants are speaking.

The Contest Chair will call for First Contestant to speak.
After the first response, Contest Chair calls for:
“One minute of silence for the Judges to mark their Ballots.”

During this one minute, the SAA goes to the waiting area and escorts the second Contestant to the room and has them stand to the side of the speaking area/back of the room until called by the Contest Chair.

After each Contestant speaks, the SAA retrieves the next Contestant until finished.

Let me know if you have any questions!
NAME

NOTE – Attach the Timer’s record sheet

Hi NAME,

Thank you for offering to help at our contests! As you are being the Timer for the club contests on the DATE. I’m sending you a bit more information on how to do your role on the night.

I have also attached the Time Record Sheet which has a bit more detail on your role. No need to print these out we will have these printed for you.

The chief judge, NAME, will brief you prior to the contest. Please ensure you arrive earlier than usual for the briefing (preferably a little bit before 6pm).

The timer role is completed in pairs during a competition. One timer is charged with tracking the time itself (with stopwatch) the other is charged with controlling the green, yellow and red timing lights.

Table Topics contest speeches shall be from one minute to two minutes. A contestant will be disqualified if the speech is less than one minute or more than two minutes 30 seconds. The green signal will be displayed at one minute and remain displayed for 30 seconds. The yellow signal will be displayed at one minute 30 seconds and remain displayed for 30 seconds. The red signal will be displayed at two minutes and remain displayed until the speech is concluded.

Evaluation contest speeches shall be from two to three minutes. A contestant will be disqualified if the speech is less than one minute 30 seconds or more than three minutes 30 seconds. The green signal will be displayed at two minutes and remain displayed for 30 seconds. The yellow signal will be displayed at two minutes and thirty seconds and remain displayed for 30 seconds. The red signal will be displayed at three minutes and remain displayed until the evaluation is concluded.

Humourous and International contest speeches shall be from five to seven minutes. A contestant will be disqualified if the speech is less than four minutes 30 seconds or more than seven minutes 30 seconds. The green signal will be displayed at five minutes. The yellow signal will be displayed at six minutes. The red signal will be displayed at seven minutes and remain displayed until the speech is concluded.

Timing begins with each contestant’s first definite verbal or nonverbal communication with the audience. Do not begin timing prior to this as the contestant will be at a disadvantage.

Each contestants time is recorded on the speech contest time record sheet (attached).

A contestant is disqualified if their speech time is less than the minimum or more than the maximum amount of time allocated.

No additional signal is to be given if a contestant goes over time and you must not share if anyone is disqualified – aside from with the Chief Judge. Circle the name of anyone who is disqualified on the sheet. At the end of the competition when the ballots are being collected you will give the timing sheet to the chief judge.

Your role is also to assist with the timing throughout the night based on the times in the agenda as the timer would normally. You will also time the 1 minute of silence between each contestant for judges to complete ballots. Take the lead from the contest chair when this time starts and indicate to the chair when the 1 minute is up.

If you have any questions let me know.

Thanks,
NAME

NOTE – Attach the Ballot counter’s sheet

Hi NAME,

Thank you for offering to help at our contests! As you are being the Ballot counter for the club contests on the DATE. I’m sending you a bit more information on how to do your role on the night.

I have also attached the Counter’s Talley Sheet which has a bit more detail on your role. No need to print these out we will have these printed for you.

The chief judge, NAME, will brief you prior to the contest. Please ensure you arrive earlier than usual for the briefing (preferably a little bit before 6pm).

The ballot counter role is to collect the judge’s ballots at the completion of the contest, total the ballots alongside the chief judge and determine the winner of the contest.

At the end of the competition, you will be instructed by the contest chair to collect the judge’s ballots ballot once they have completed them.

Once you have totalled the ballots, you will complete the Counter’s Tally Sheet. Each judge will have selected a first, second and third place winner.

Points are assigned as follows:

First:                3 Points
Second:           2 Points
Third:               1 Point

Once you have written the totals – check the timers’ sheet for any disqualifications and strike them off. Once the points are totalled and you will be able to list the contestants in order of first, second, and third place. The Counter’s Talley Sheet is then given to the Chief Judge. If there is a tie the Chief Judge will check the tie breakers ballot to determine the winner.

If you have any questions let me know.

Thanks,
NAME

NOTE – Attach the latest rules & Table Topics judge’s ballot for this contest

Hi Everyone,

As you are competing in the Table Topics contest, I wanted to send through a bit more detail on the format of the contest so that we can keep everything running smoothly on the night.

Please arrive early. The contestant briefing will be at 6pm sharp to ensure we can get the contest underway on time. Speaking order will be determined by ballot during this briefing.

The format for the Table Topics contest will be as follows:

  1. The contest chair will introduce the contest itself, purpose etc
  2. All contestants will be asked to leave the room along with the Sergeant at Arms who will be supervising you. Please remember to keep the noise level to a whisper while you wait!
  3. Contestants will be called back into the room one-by-one to perform their TT speech. You will be signalled by the Sgt @ arms when it is your turn.
  4. You will enter the room during the one minute of silence where judges mark the ballots in between contestants. When you enter please wait at the back of the room.
  5. At the end of the one-minute of silence, the contest chair will call you to the front introducing you by announcing your name, the topic, the topic, your name. Proceed immediately to the speaking position.
  6. You will all receive the same topic, which will be of a general nature. The topic is selected by the contest chair. The topic will be of reasonable length, will not require a detailed knowledge, and will lead to an opinion or conclusion. You will receive no advanced knowledge of the topic until the moment you are introduced by the contest chair.
  7. Remember when you take the stage, pause to compose your thoughts prior to speaking. In saying this, the rules state you should begin speaking within a short time after arriving at the speaking area to avoid unnecessary delay to the contest.
  8. Timing will begin with your first definite verbal or nonverbal communication with the audience. Your Table Topic speech is the standard one minute to two minutes. You will be disqualified if the speech is less than one minute or more than two minutes 30 seconds – lights will signal timing as follows: Green = 1 Minute, Orange = 1 minute 30 seconds, Red = 2 minutes.
  9. Once you finish there will be one minute of silence for judges to mark their ballots.
  10. At the conclusion of each speech, the next speaker will be invited into the room.
  11. Note – you may not use digital or other devices during the contest to gain an unfair

Judges will be evaluating on the below categories and weighting. Have a good read through and keep this in mind for your Table Topics Speech.

Content (55%)
Speech Development (30%) is the way the speaker puts ideas together so the audience can understand them. The Table Topics™ response is structured around a purpose, and this structure must include an opening, body and conclusion. The response is supported by relevant examples and illustrations, facts and figures, if appropriate, and is delivered smoothly.
Effectiveness (25%) is your subjective judgement of how the response came across. Were you able to determine the speaker’s purpose? Did the speech relate directly to the given question or topic? Was the response clearly and logically presented?

Delivery (30%)
Physical presentation (15%) of the response carries part of the responsibility for effective communication. The speaker’s appearance should reinforce his or her response. Body language should support points through gestures, expressions and body positioning. The speaker makes effective use of and stays within the designated speaking area.
Voice (15%) is the sound that carries the message. It should be flexible, moving from one pitch level to another for emphasis, and should have a variety of rate and volume. A good voice can be clearly heard, and the words easily understood.

Language (15%)
Appropriateness (10%) of language refers to the choice of words that relate to the speech purpose and to the particular audience hearing the speech. Language should promote clear understanding of thoughts and should fit the occasion precisely.
Correctness (5%) of language ensures that attention will be directed toward what the speaker says, not how it is said. Proper use of grammar and correct pronunciation will show that the speaker is the master of the words being used

Attached are the contest rules if you wish for more detail. Also attached is the Judge’s guide and ballot which is what they’ll be using to judge the speeches.

Thanks,
NAME

NOTE – Attach the latest rules & Evaluation judge’s ballot for this contest

Hi Everyone,

As you are competing in the Evaluation contest, I wanted to send through a bit more detail on the format of the contest so that we can keep everything running smoothly on the night.

Please arrive early. The contestant briefing will be at 6pm sharp to ensure we can get the contest underway on time. Speaking order will be determined by ballot during this briefing.

The format for the evaluation contest itself will be as follows:

  1. A test speaker will perform a 5 – 7 minute speech
  2. You may choose to make preparatory notes during the test speech using the Evaluation Contestant Notes sheet (this is will be given to you – it is an A4 piece of paper).
  3. Note you may not use digital or other devices during the contest to gain an unfair advantage
  4. Neither the manual project nor any objectives that the speaker may have will be made known to the contestants, chief judge, voting judges, tiebreaking judge, or audience. It is recommended that each evaluator try to mention in their evaluation what type of speech they think the speaker was performing (inspirational, persuasive, informative, demonstrative entertaining etc)
  5. All contestants will be asked to leave the room on the conclusion of the test speakers’ speech along with the Sergeant at Arms
  6. You will then get 5 minutes to prepare notes which will be held in safe keeping by the Sgt @ arms after the 5 mins has elapsed. No further preparation is allowed after this.
  7. After the 5 minutes has elapsed, contestants will be called back into the room one-by-one to perform their evaluation. You will be signalled by the Sgt @ arms that it your turn to enter the room and he will hand you your evaluation sheet.
  8. You will enter the room during the one minute of silence where judges mark the ballots in between contestants. When you enter please wait at the back of the room.
  9. At the end of the one-minute of silence, the contest chair will call you to the front introducing you by announcing your name, the topic, the topic, your name. Proceed immediately to the speaking position.
  10. The contest chair will call you to the front by introduced by having your name announced twice. Please remember to keep the noise level to a whisper while you wait!
  11. Each contestant must evaluate for a minimum of one minute and 30 seconds and a maximum of three minutes 30 seconds or will be disqualified – lights will signal timing as follows: Green = 2 Minutes, Orange = 2 minutes 30 seconds, Red = 3 minutes
  12. There will be one-minute silence between each evaluator for judges to compile their scores.

Judges will be evaluating on the below categories and weighting. Have a good read through and keep this in mind for your evaluation.

Analytical Quality 40% refers to the effectiveness of the evaluation. Every evaluation should carefully analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the speaker’s presentation. Were the evaluator’s comments clear and logical? Did the evaluator identify specific strengths and weaknesses of the presentation?

Recommendations 30% are an important part of an evaluation. An evaluator not only points out the strengths and weaknesses of a speech, he/she also offers specific recommendations for improvement. Recommendations should be practical, helpful and positive, and they should enable the speaker to improve his or her next presentation. 

Technique 15% refers to the manner in which the evaluator presents his/her comments and recommendations. An evaluator should be sensitive to the feelings and needs of the speaker yet inspire and encourage the speaker in his/her future speaking efforts.

Summation 15% is how the evaluator concludes the evaluation. The conclusion should briefly summarize the evaluator’s comments and suggestions and be positive and encouraging.

Attached are the contest rules if you wish for more detail. Also attached is the Judge’s guide and ballot which is what they’ll be using to judge the speeches.

Thanks,
NAME

NOTE – Attach the latest rules & Humourous judge’s ballot for this contest

Hi Everyone,

As you are competing in the Humourous contest, I wanted to send through a bit more detail on the format of the contest so that we can keep everything running smoothly on the night.

Please arrive early. The contestant briefing will be at 6pm sharp to ensure we can get the contest underway on time. Speaking order will be determined by ballot during this briefing.

The subject for the Humorous speech shall be selected by the contestant. The speaker shall avoid potentially objectionable language, anecdotes, and material.

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

The format for the humourous contest itself will be as follows:

  1. The contest chair will call you to the front by introduced by announcing your name, speech title, speech title, name.
  2. Each contestant must speak for a minimum of four minutes and 30 seconds and a maximum of seven minutes and 30 seconds or will be disqualified – lights will signal timing as follows: Green = 5 Minutes, Orange = 6 minutes, Red = 7 minutes
  3. There will be one-minute silence between each evaluator for judges to compile their scores.

Judges will be evaluating on the below categories and weighting. Have a good read through and keep this in mind for your speech.

Content (55%)
Speech Development (15%) –
Structure, Organization, Support Material
Effectiveness (10%) – Achievement of Purpose, Interest, Reception
Speech Value (10%) – Ideas, Logic, Original Thought
Audience Response (15%) – Attentiveness, Laughter, Interest, Reception

Delivery (30%)
Physical (10%)
– Appearance, Body Language, Speaking Area
Voice (10%) – Flexibility, Volume
Manner (10%) – Directness, Assurance, Enthusiasm

Language (15%)
Appropriateness (10%) –
To Speech Purpose And Audience
Correctness (5%) – Grammar, Pronunciation, Word Selection

Attached are the contest rules if you wish for more detail. Also attached is the Judge’s guide and ballot which is what they’ll be using to judge the speeches.

Thanks,
NAME

NOTE – Attach the latest rules & International judge’s ballot for this contest

Hi Everyone,

As you are competing in the International contest, I wanted to send through a bit more detail on the format of the contest so that we can keep everything running smoothly on the night.

Please arrive early. The contestant briefing will be at 6pm sharp to ensure we can get the contest underway on time. Speaking order will be determined by ballot during this briefing.

The format for the International contest itself will be as follows:

  1. The contest chair will call you to the front by introduced by announcing your name, speech title, speech title, name.
  2. Each contestant must speak for a minimum of four minutes and 30 seconds and a maximum of seven minutes and 30 seconds or will be disqualified – lights will signal timing as follows: Green = 5 Minutes, Orange = 6 minutes, Red = 7 minutes
  3. There will be one-minute silence between each evaluator for judges to compile their scores.

Judges will be evaluating on the below categories and weighting. Have a good read through and keep this in mind for your speech.

Content (50%)
Speech Development (20%) –
Structure, Organization, Support Material
Effectiveness (15%) – Achievement of Purpose, Interest, Reception
Speech Value (15%) – Ideas, Logic, Original Thought

Delivery (30%)
Physical (10%)
– Appearance, Body Language, Speaking Area
Voice (10%) – Flexibility, Volume
Manner (10%) – Directness, Assurance, Enthusiasm

Language (20%)
Appropriateness (10%) –
To Speech Purpose And Audience
Correctness (10%) – Grammar, Pronunciation, Word Selection

Attached are the contest rules if you wish for more detail. Also attached is the Judge’s guide and ballot which is what they’ll be using to judge the speeches.

Thanks,
NAME