Contest Protocol

Last spring I had the good fortune to spend a few quality hours with one of our International Directors (ID), and one of our discussions was about contest protocol. Specifically, how do the different folks in attendance play into the awards portion at the end.

Earlier in the spring, I drew some minor flak for how I handled my attendance at our local Area contests in Wichita. As Lt Governor Marketing, I was asked to come forward to help with the award of trophies, but the Division Governor was the one who handed the trophy to the winners. Some thought as the ranking member in attendance I should have handed out the trophies, but I disagreed.

After discussing proper TI protocol with our ID, I’m providing a short lesson on contest protocol for the coming season:

Area Contests
At the conclusion of the contest, do the following prior to the award of the trophies:

1. The Contest Master should recognize the following people, in this order:
NOTE: Edited Sep 2011 for 2011-2012 officers
– Current International Officers (usually only at District Contest)
– Current District Trio (Rob Christeson, John DiLeo, then Martha Hoffman)
– Past International Officers (i.e. PID Ron Harger)
– Past District Governors (Alphabetical by Last Name)
– Current Division Governors (local first, then TALKRS order)
– Current Area Governors (TALKRS/Number order)
– Club Presidents and officers (all as a group – optional)

2. Offer the ranking District Officer the opportunity to address the group (he or she may offer the other trio members in attendance a chance to say something first)
– If possible, work out in advance who will discuss the next contest and the coming conference
Best Practice: Put the contest and conference information on the agenda for all attendees – when you talk about it you can point out the written info

3. Call the Division Governor up to help hand out the trophies

4. Get the photographer in position
– There should be an individual photo with each winner and the AG, plus a group shot of First/Second/Third for each contest
– Any other photos are optional and encouraged

5. Announce the winners

Division Contest
Same steps, just a change to step 3:

3. Call the ranking District Trio member up to help hand out the trophies (if the Division Governor is not the Contest Master, the call the Division Governor up as well)

For the visiting Division Governors, Trio members, and Past District Governors – remember these tips:

1. Go to the AG/Contest Master 20 minutes before the contest and say “Is there anything I can do to help?”

2. Ask the AG if they are planning to discuss the next contest level, and the coming conference. If they are, just double-check that they have the pertinent facts. If they ask you to do it, quickly work out the best time and let them know you’ll be ready when they call on you.

3. Wear your badge.

4. Save any criticisms for well after the contest.

5. Smile and wave.

By following some simple protocol standards, we can keep our contests professional and give our members, contestants and guests a memorable experience.

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About Rob Christeson

Talk to the Human
This entry was posted in Contests, Toastmasters and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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