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Contests Tips

TIPS FOR RUNNING SUCCESSFUL SPEECH CONTESTS AT CLUB, AREA, DIVISION AND DISTRICT LEVEL

TIMING

TitleAreaNameHome PhoneMobile No.Email
Audit Committee ChairmanAdministrationPeter Herbert DTMClick here to send an email
Changeover Dinner ChairmanAdministrationTBAClick here to send an email
Claims OfficerAdministrationLalita Devi ACS ALB02 9607 09930418 217 695Click here to send an email
Conference Chairman - AnnualAdministrationClay Halford ACS ALBClick here to send an email
Conference Chairman - Semi AnnualAdministrationAmanda Annabel DTM0414 905 993Click here to send an email
Contest Budgets OfficerAdministrationLinda Said ACS ALB
Logistics ManagerAdministrationBruce Crawley DTM02 9559 65020414 850 634Click here to send an email
District Leadership Committee ChairmanAdministrationWendy White DTMClick here to send an email
ParliamentariansAdministrationRichard Stacey DTM
Puneet Grover CC CL
Click here to send an email
Past District Governor / Director LiaisonAdministrationWendy White DTMClick here to send an email
PhotographerAdministrationTBAClick here to send an email
PostmasterAdministrationCheryl Keane DTM02 9665 36230416 114 839Click here to send an email
Publications OfficerAdministrationTBAClick here to send an email
Sight and Sound Team LeaderAdministrationDaniel Tucker DTM0421 655 208Click here to send an email
StatisticianAdministrationJohn Dwyer ATMClick here to send an email
TI Warehouse OfficerAdministrationNick Rinaldi DTMClick here to send an email
District Lead TrainerEducation & Program QualityDavid Wassink ACB ALB0402 606 132Click here to send an email
Program Quality SupportEducation & Program QualityTBAClick here to send an email
Seminars OfficerEducation & Program QualityKatherine Burchmore ACG CL02 9525 94180422 766 895Click here to send an email
Speakers Forum OfficerEducation & Program QualityKatherine Burchmore ACG CL02 9525 94180422 766 895Click here to send an email
Youth Leadership/ Gavel Club Co-ordinatorEducation & Program QualityCarmel McCartin ACG ALBClick here to send an email
Club Alignment Committee ChairmanMarketing & Club GrowthPhilip Bendeich DTMClick here to send an email
Club Coach CoordinatorMarketing & Club GrowthJosephine (Jo) Spiegelhauer ACB ALBClick here to send an email
Club Sponsorship & Mentoring OfficerMarketing & Club GrowthRichard Shore DTM02 9724 59200458 000 572Click here to send an email
Community Club Support OfficerMarketing & Club GrowthDianne Kerr ACG ALB02 4658 18540413 820 710Click here to send an email
Corporate Club Support OfficerMarketing & Club GrowthRichard Stacey DTMClick here to send an email
Directory OfficerMarketing & Club GrowthCheryl Keane DTM02 9665 36230416 114 839Click here to send an email
Email Enquiries OfficerMarketing & Club GrowthHelene Buckman DTM02 4625 81660419 612 990Click here to send an email
Member Mentoring OfficerMarketing & Club GrowthMaria Pedavoli ACS ALBClick here to send an email
Member Retention OfficerMarketing & Club GrowthJohn Hughson ACS ALB0412 135 853Click here to send an email
Membership Returns OfficerMarketing & Club GrowthPatti Bertram DTM02 9327 61030438 327 610Click here to send an email
New Club OfficerMarketing & Club GrowthNick Rinaldi DTM
Speechcraft Liaison OfficerMarketing & Club GrowthPauline Gilchrist DTM02 8094 93330404 665 413Click here to send an email
Visitor Liaison OfficerMarketing & Club GrowthTBA
Facebook AdministratorPublic RelationsTBAClick here to send an email
Media Promotions OfficerPublic RelationsJuliana Jamal DTM0411 432 525
Newsletter EditorPublic RelationsTBAClick here to send an email
Social Media ManagerPublic RelationsMike Kano DTM
Speakers Bureau ManagerPublic RelationsLorraine Freeman DTM0402 735 221Click here to send an email
Strategic Marketing ManagerPublic RelationsPuneet Grover CC CL
Strategic Technology ManagerPublic RelationsMichael Fenton CC0406 299 889
WebmasterPublic RelationsDenise Paton DTM0411 042 452Click here to send an email

THE STARS

The stars of the event are the contestants.
Special guests are the District Leaders.
The support cast is the contest chairman, contest personnel and members assigned specific tasks such as the welcome, invocation, contest toastmaster, raffle ticket sellers and door attendants.

Get them there
Send a congratulatory letter to your contestants noting the time they are expected to arrive at the venue (at least 1 hour before for the briefing), clothing choice (for technical reasons e.g. microphones require a belt pack to be hooked to a belt and female contestants should be warned to wear either a skirt/pants/dress with belt OR if a lapel mic is being used, the mic will need to be clipped to a lapel, avoid dangling earrings as the movement is picked up by the mic), who to check in with on arrival and a map (how to get to the venue). Explain that contestants can arrange seating for their family early and that they can walk around the stage for familiarisation. Send a copy of the Contest Chairman’s Briefing to the contestants.

Roles
Speak to each member of the support cast and send a written explanation of what is expected of them. Do not expect anyone to know what you want from them, no matter how experienced the person is.
Send the Biographical Data Forms to the contest toastmaster at least a week in advance.
Advise the timing for each segment of the contest, e.g. welcome 2-3 minutes, invocation 2-3 minutes.
Advise the Welcomer the names of people to be mentioned in the welcome (including role and education level of each person).
Advise the raffle ticket sellers/drawers that a “good raffle is a quick raffle” – allow 5 minutes.
Mentor and guide each person with an assignment on your agenda.

District Leaders
Allow District leaders to mingle with the audience. Have their seating pre-arranged. Introduce District leaders to club executives and any special guests.

The Contestants
The contestants are the stars. The event revolves around the contestants. Allow for nervous reactions by the contestants. Smile, be calm and sensitive to the needs of contestants. Remain professional at all times.

AVOIDING PROBLEMS

Choose your venue with sound/audio in mind.
Book audio team well in advance.
Book an assistant as your floor manager for larger contests.
Have a walk through with your audio team leader, host club president, contest toastmaster and caterers.
Work with your host club on logistics. The members will know more than you about – the venue staff, small rooms for briefings, sound proof rooms for contestants, power outlets and lighting.
Carry tools such as extension cords, double adaptors, scissors, sticky tape, gaffer tape, hollywood tape, paper, pens, cardboard and textas.
Organise a female assistant for placement of the belt packs and microphones on female contestants.
Make sure a table is available for the audio team equipment and set a (dining) table nearby. Organise drinks and look after the audio team who are generally too busy to do anything other than the task to which they have been assigned.
Make sure your contestants know that microphones will be used and to dress appropriately so that equipment can be attached to clothing quickly and easily.
Appoint a Sergeant-at-arms to start the evening. The contest chairman should not be acting as a stage or floor manager.
Ensure you have 2 sets of timing lights (in working order), plus spare batteries and coloured timing cards as a backup. Test the illumination and the position of the lights. Invite the contestants to the stage to ensure they know where the lights are and are happy with the positioning.
Be aware of cables. All cables should be taped to avoid the possibility of tripping. Assist contestants onto the stage, especially if they are wearing high heels or feeling nervous. Ensure there is a clear pathway through the audience for the contestants to get to the stage.
Table Topics contestants are to be escorted to a silent room where they are unable to hear any speakers in the contest room. Contestants should not be carrying mobile phones or other smart phones.
Evaluation contestants are to be escorted to a silent room where they are unable to take notes comfortably and where that are unable to hear any speakers in the contest room.

THE INCIDENTALS THAT CAN MAKE OR BREAK A CONTEST EVENT

Catering – can make or break the timing and energy of a contest.

Eating is not the priority at a contest.
Work with the host club venue – decide on what sort of meal is appropriate depending on the time of day of the contest.
For a sit down meal, have the entrée on the tables at the start.
Main meals can be served during the interviews.
Make sure the chief judge and ballot counters are served a meal if they are out of the room at the time of serving.
Use “table tents” or other signage to indicate placement of special meals.
Consider serving platters of food to each table to save time.

Raffles – are important but should not overtake the contest.

Ask the host club to co-ordinate the raffle prizes in the most efficient way.
Raffle draws should not exceed 5 minutes. This means 4-6 prizes only.
Do not extend the evening because of lengthy raffle draws (people get bored when up to 25 tickets are drawn out and one by one the prizes are claimed).
Engage a “barrel” person to expedite the raffle draw process. Draw a number and ask the winner to proceed to the back of the room to collect the prize, draw another number etc. There is no need to be cross checking all the numbers.

THE MONEY

The contest is about getting as many people as possible to your area or division contest to see the best speakers.

Consider changing the catering, venue or time of contest to reduce the attendance fee.
Decorations are not necessary but if wanted, chose decorations that can be re-used or are donated or borrowed.
Ask members to donate raffle prizes to maximise the returns on the raffle. Avoid spending money buying raffle prizes.
Shop around for your engraving. Think ahead. Some engravers charge as little as $2.50 per plate.
Only purchase certificate holders for the place-getters.
Give thank you cards to judges and other special guests. There is no need for a gift when they have already been given seats to a fantastic contest and dinner.
Create interesting flyers and send them to all the clubs in your area/division. Upload the area contest flyer to division websites and division flyers to the district website.
Develop an editorial for the newspaper to attract attention and have more people attending.
Work with your host club Treasurer. Do not handle the money yourself.
Create a spreadsheet of all paying and non-paying attendees for the door staff.
Collect money prior to the event (if possible via internet transfer) to prevent a long line up at the door.
Ensure there will be a float in case change is required for door takings and the raffle.

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