Return speech contests to the traditional schedule!
To: The 'Top Three' District 5 Officers, who were recently elected to serve our district for the July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016 term:
We, the Members of Toastmasters International, District 5, by evidence of our signatures below, ask for a return to the traditional contest format of Humorous/Table Topics in the fall and International/Evaluation in the spring.
The mission of Toastmasters International is developing communicators and leaders. We believe that the speech contests are key to fulfilling this mission. Speech contests give our members - whether as contestants, audience members, or contest functionaries, an opportunity to flex their communication and leadership muscles and to be witnesses to excellence in a higher-stake environment.
We believe that presenting both the International and Humorous Speech Contests in the fall will result in overall decreased participation in the contests and adversely affect member progress toward speaking and leadership goals, due to the following five reasons (as well as other considerations not limited to just these reasons stated here):
1. Lack of time for contest preparation, as these two contests are the most demanding of the speakers’ time and talents.
2. Lack of time for newer members to finish at least six speeches to be eligible to compete in our most important International Speech Contests.
3. Loss of opportunities for completing projects toward achieving Toastmasters International educational designations.
4. Loss of opportunities to inspire and encourage members with contestant role models to continue to achieve more than competency in presenting prepared speeches.
5. Opportunities being taken from those who support our district goals the most.
Thus, in support of the Toastmasters International mission, we, the undersigned, wish to protest the change in speech contests as proposed under your planned schedule and demand a return to the traditional contest format of Humorous/Table Topics in the fall and International/Evaluation in the spring.