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Being an Effective Judge

Judging can be quite a challenge, assessing the difference between a series of speakers in quick succession. For an introduction see here. If you accept the challenge of being a contest judge (and you should as soon as you have some Manual speeches behind you, your VP Education will guide you here) then firstly enure you know the basics, read the material below and most important; read the contest rules.


1) Demonstrate Objectivity and Fairness throughout judging

2) Support the Contest by refraining from public criticism of its rules. Critical evaluations are directed one on one in private with the Chief Judge.

3) Score, ranking and comments are to be handed to the Ballot Counters and revealed to the Chief Judge only.

4) Exhibit Care and heed the rules and judging standards as specified.

5) Avoid personal opinions or bias when scoring the speaker on the objectives.

6) To Judge is to pick a Winner.


A) Detach from speaker and subject.

B) Adapt quickly to different speech types.

C) Judge with consistency.

D) Focus on: “Was the speech effective?”

E) Listen intently, and respond quickly on scoring form.

F) There will be bias, as we are human. No one is totally objective so try to focus on being as objective and detached from personal opinions as much as possible.

G) Judges do not discuss the rules.

H) Judges do not reveal their scoring worksheets.

I) Ballots are signed folded in half and handed to the Ballot Counters

J) The chief judge personally collects the tiebreaking judge's ballot, which must contain all contestants ranked in
order by the tiebreaking judge..


Can ONLY be made by a CONTESTANT or JUDGE who has First hand knowledge (in other words they have seen or heard it), CANNOT be based on information from an audience member or bystander.


A speaker may be disqualified ONLY for the following infractions:

A) Originality B) Timing - exceeding the allotted time

B) Ineligible - Must have dues paid as a member and the club must be paid to TI.