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Briefing Notes for The Chief Judge

CHIEF JUDGE BRIEFING FOR ALL CONTESTS

To be conducted by the Chief Judge

Club Contest – conduct the briefing either prior to the meeting or during the meeting prior to the start of the contest.

Area, Division and District Contests – conduct the briefing at least 45 minutes prior to the start of the contest.

Before the Briefing

Obtain a copy of the latest version of the Speech Contest Rulebook, read and
understand it.

1. Establish that all timers, ballot counters and judges are present.

2. Obtain a copy of the Judge List from the contest chairman or Lt Governor Education and Training or delegate.

3. Obtain the participation certificates and place certificates for each contest.

4. Confirm that no judge is a member of any club in which a contestant is a member (and is not related to a contestant).

5. Confirm that all speakers are active members (since 1st July of the previous year), in good standing of a club in good standing and have completed at least six speeches (for the International Speech Contest only) from the Competent Communication manual (area, division, district and beyond).

6. Refer to the Speech Contest Rulebook for further clarification of the eligibility requirements.

Begin the briefing on time.

Do not wait for contest personnel who are late.

Focus on the items listed below.

Brief each group (timers, ballot counters and judges)separately.

Note that the tiebreaking judge does not attend the judges’ briefing.

7. Obtain a copy of the contestant’s speaking order from the contest chairman.

The Timer’s Briefing

If the chief judge has the speaking order from the contest chairman, advise the timers of the order. The speaking order will also be given by the contest toastmaster at the start of the contest.

Timers should be from different clubs and not related to the contestants.

Review the Speech Contest Time Record Sheet and Instructions for Timers with the timers, including the final paragraph about circling a time which disqualifies a contestant and submitting the form to the chief judge.

Highlight the times shown on the sheet for the lights for particular contests as follows:

Green Yellow Red
International 5 mins 6 mins 7 mins
Humorous 5 mins 6 mins 7 mins
Evaluation 2 mins 2 mins 30 secs 3 mins
Table Topics 1 min 1 min 30 secs 2 mins

Advise the timers that there will be one minute silence between speakers. They are to indicate with the red light at the beginning of the 1 minute silence, and then at the conclusion of the 1 minute they are to “switch” down through yellow, green to no light. The contest toastmaster will be watching and will know to introduce the next speaker, when there is no light showing. (It is also confirmation to the contest toastmaster that the lights are still in good working order.)

Timers should advise the chief judge if there were any technical difficulties with the timing equipment during the contest.

Once the winners have been announced, the decision is final. However, timers(counters and the chief judge) may interrupt the announcement of winners if the names are being read incorrectly. They may raise a hand and state out loud –“There is an error.”

The Ballot Counter’s Briefing

If the chief judge has the speaking order from the contest chairman, advise the ballot counters of the order. The speaking order will also be given by the contest toastmaster at the start of the contest.

Ballot counters should be from different clubs and not be related to the contestants.

Review the Ballot Counter’s Tally Sheet with the ballot counters. Ballot counters are to collect the ballots from the judges when they are held up, but should not hover in the vicinity of judges while they are completing their forms. The counting process is confidential and should not be discussed with anyone.

Once the winners have been announced, the decision is final. However, ballot counters (timers and the chief judge) may interrupt the announcement of winners if the names are being read incorrectly. They may raise a hand and state out loud –“There is an error.”

The Judge’s Briefing

The briefing is to be conducted by the chief judge and completed no less than 15 minutes prior to contest start time (for area, division and district).

If the chief judge has the speaking order from the contest chairman, advise the judges of the order. The speaking order will also be given by the contest toastmaster at the start of the contest.

1. Read the judging criteria on the reverse of the Judge’s Guide and Ballot with the judges. Ask the judges how they interpret the criteria. Seek clarification from experienced judges to assist the understanding of judges who are less experienced.

2. Read the judges code of ethics on the reverse side of the Judge’s Guide and Ballot. Ask if any judge feels they cannot judge due to a conflict of interest.

Read the following to the judges for their information and action.

3. Before each contest begins, PRINT and SIGN your name on the ballot and tear off the ballot from the scoring sheet. If a ballot is not signed it cannot be counted.

4. Sit close to the contest area where you can see and hear the speakers easily (in the case of an outside disturbance or failure of the audio system).

5. Make sure you complete the correct ballot for each contest. Fill in 1st, 2nd and 3rd (if there are at least 3 contestants) or the ballot cannot be counted.

DO NOT FILL IN CONTESTANTS NAMES UNTIL THE SPEAKING ORDER HAS BEEN ANNOUNCED.

6. Judge ONLY by the criteria and how those are met today; not by how the person did in a prior contest.

7. Your sole task is to pick a winner by comparing the performance of the contestants and selecting 1st, 2nd and 3rd place-getters. You are NOT asked to rate or grade the speeches. Do not place particular emphasis on the Excellent, Very Good, Good and Fair headings above the point ranges.

8. Tastes, beliefs, preferences and prejudices are the most prevalent barriers to unbiased judging. Judge each speech and speaker on the merits of their performance at this time.

9. When you are scoring, some speakers may tie or be very close in points. You must break your own ties by comparing the relative performances of
the tying speakers in each section of the Judge’s Guide so that you can make an appropriate adjustment. Reviewed September 2011 Page 4 of 4
10.

Do not pay any attention to timing; it is not part of the judging criteria. If there is a disqualification for time, it is because the timers have recorded the time for a speech falling outside the timing guidelines. Prior to announcing the results, the contest chairman shall announce if time disqualifications occurred, but not name the contestant(s) involved.

11. The speaking area will be designated by the contest chairman. Going outside the area is not a basis for disqualification. However, if the
movement, proximity etc. of a contestant, seems awkward or inappropriate, you may consider that in your scoring.

12. All speeches must be substantially original. Any quoted material must be identified during the speech presentation. If there is a question regarding originality, it must be brought to my attention or to the attention of the contest chairman before the winners are announced. Discreetly say that you wish to lodge a protest on originality. The contestant has a right to be heard on the question before a decision can be made to disqualify on the basis that the speech is not original. A majority of judges must concur to disqualify the contestant.

13. At the end of each contest, you will have as long as you require to review your scoring and to complete your ballot.

14. Once completed, hold up your ballot to be collected by a ballot counter.

15. The name of the tiebreaking judge is confidential to the chief judge.

16. Do not discuss the judging of this contest or explain or justify your judging with anyone. In particular you must not evaluate or advise any speakers.

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