Success Does Not Accept Excuses

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Contest Rules

Downloadable PDF of the Contest Rules

General Rules

Competitors will conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times.  Profanity and abuse will result in immediate disqualification and ejection from the Contest and could also result in legal action.

Presentations containing religious, political, sexual, discriminatory, profanity, vulgarity, pornography or pornographic language, other obscenities or otherwise controversial/offensive content will be disqualified.

The Contest is conducted in English only.

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

Competitors must prepare their own speeches. Each speech must be substantially original.

Twenty-five percent or less of the speech may be devoted to quoting, para­phrasing, or referencing another person’s content. Any quoted, paraphrased, or referenced content must be so identified during the presentation.

All Competitors will speak from the same area designated by the Master of Ceremonies (MC).

All Competitors will be advised of the speaking area before the Contest begins.

A lectern will be available. Use of the lectern is optional.

If necessary, an appropriate microphone shall be made available.

Competitors are responsible for arranging their preferred setup of the lectern, microphone, props, technology and other equipment in a quiet manner in one (1) minute. Competitors may enlist the Contest stage hand to help them with props.

Competitors will perform a random draw (TBD) to determine speaking order prior to the Contest.

Before the Contest, Competitors will be briefed on the rules by the MC.  If a Competitor is absent from the briefing the Competitor will be disqualified.

Before the Contest, the Time Keepers will be briefed on their duties by the MC. Time Keepers will receive the Contest Time Record Sheet and Instruction for Time Keepers.

Judging

The Competitor will immediately hear an evaluation of their presentation by three Judges. There will be one (1) minute after the Competitor speech, during which the Judges will mark the scores for the Competitor. During this one (1) minute, any props used by the Speaker should be removed, and any props needed for the next Competitor should be placed, in this time period.

Each Judge will evaluate a different aspect of the speech. Each aspect of the speech is worth 30 marks.

Judge 1 – Body language, eye contact, use of stage area, use of props.

Judge 2 – Speech content; opening, body, close, how the points flow together.

Judge 3 – Speech content; vocal variety, believability, sincerity, special words and phrases.

Each Judge will have one (1) minute to do their evaluation on the aspect they are judging. The Judge will mark their score out of 30.

The MC does not evaluate Competitors.

All scores will be tallied. Total score will be out of 90.

Timing

Speeches must be between two (2) minutes and 45 seconds and three (3) minutes and 15 seconds.

  • Timing is strictly adhered to.
  • A time violation will result in disqualification.
  • A timing light will go on at two (2) minutes and 45 seconds. At three (3) minutes and 15 seconds the MC will start to clap. You have been disqualified.

Upon being introduced, the Competitor shall proceed immediately to the speaking position. Timing will begin with the Competitor’s first definite verbal or nonverbal com­munication with the audience. This usually will be the first word uttered by the Competitor, but would include any other communication such as sound effects, a staged act, etc.

The Competitor should begin speaking within a short time after arriving at the speaking area, and is not permitted to delay the Contest unnecessarily.

Any visually impaired Competitor is permitted to request and must be granted a form of warning signal of his or her own choosing. Acceptable warning signals would include, but not be limited to: a buzzer, a bell, or a person announcing the times.

If any special device for such signal is required, it is the Competitor’s responsibility to provide any and all devices.

All devices must be pre-approved by the Contest Organizers.

In the event of technical failure of the signal or timing equipment a green card will be held up at two (2) minutes and 45 seconds.

Props

Competitors who plan to use props (including any sort of electronic device), must notify the MC prior to the Contest.

All devices/props must be pre-approved by the Contest Organizers.

Competitors must abide by any venue restrictions on the use of props.  Competitors have one (1) minute to set any props. All props must be set up and removed from the stage in the one (1) minute while the Judges compile their evaluation. Competitors may enlist the Contest stage hand to help them with props.

Competitors must demonstrate to the MC prior to the Contest that the props can be set up and removed in the allotted times. If a Competitor is unable to demonstrate this, the props cannot be used during the Contest.

Competitors may not use digital or other devices during the Contest to gain an unfair advantage.

During the Contest

No-one will be allowed to enter or leave the room during any presentation.

The taking of any photographs and/or videos or recording with any device during the Contest is strictly prohibited.  Anyone doing so will be asked to leave immediately!

Competitor’s Checklist

Before the Contest

  1. Select a topic and prepare your own substantially original speech.
  2. Attend the Competitor’s Briefing.
  3. Inform the MC of any props you plan to use.
  4. By entering this Contest, you certify that you have read and understand the rules regarding eligibility and originality.

During the Contest

  1. You have the one (1) minute while the Judges are marking the scores for the Competitor who spoke before you to set up any and all props and visual aids. Competitors may enlist the Contest stage hand to help them with props.
  2. After your introduction, proceed immediately to the speaking area and begin your speech.
  3. Check the timing signals regularly during your presentation.
    When the signal is activated the Competitors have 30 seconds to wrap it up, even if you’re not finished with your presentation.
  4. Immediately following your speech, remove any props or visual aids from the speaking area. Competitors may enlist the Contest stage hand to help them with props.