• Fairness, impartiality, and lack of bias – whether actual or perceived – are of
vital importance, thus:
o The Toastmaster should not make any comments about a contestant
and/or his/her speech (e.g. “that was a great speech” or “I can relate to
that speech” or “that’s a DTM quality speech”, etc.).
o Contestants’ designation (e.g. CC, ACB, DTM, etc.), club, previous
contest experience, time as a Toastmaster, etc. should not be
referenced by voice (e.g. during the Toastmaster’s remarks) or by
writing (e.g. included in the program) nor shall they be displayed on any
name badge that a contestant may wear.
• Contestants should always be introduced exactly as the rules state (e.g.
name, speech title, speech title, name)
• There are certain customs that, while not official rules, are observed by the
district and should be followed to prevent objections and maintain harmony:
o Judges should remain anonymous and shall not be named verbally
(e.g. thank you to Bob, Tom, and Jane who helped judge) or in writing
(e.g. acknowledgements in the program).
o The Chief Judge should be called upon to read selected rules to benefit
the contestants and the observers.
o The Chief Judge should be called upon to decide or clarify any issues
or anomalies that arise (e.g. eligibility of contestant who arrives late,
timing problems, etc.). A good Chief Judge should have the knowledge
and experience needed to make a correct, fair, and impartial decision
and the Chief Judge’s authority is recognized to make these decisions
whereas other meeting participants (e.g. Toastmaster, Sgt-at-Arms,
Timers, etc.) generally are not viewed to have that authority.
• Regardless of the level of planning, most contests have quirks that require
some flexibility in the program (e.g. judging takes longer than expected,
paperwork gets misplaced, etc.). The Toastmaster should make allowances
for this and prepare a couple ways to burn time (e.g. a couple jokes, etc.).
While keeping things flowing is important, it is more important that the
essentials of protocol be maintained (e.g. proper order, correct timing, proper
introductions, etc.). If there is a question of how to proceed or what to do the
Toastmaster should consult with the Contest Chair (programmatic, timing,
and/or style issue) and/or Chief Judge (technical and/or rule issue).