Fellow Toastmasters, these are notes for everyone on how the Division and District Contest will be run. It is like an airline-style checklist. These are the practical steps for operating the Zoom contest.

Zoom Settings

Before you start please look at the zoom settings I suggest which will enable the features you will need to perform many of the actions I suggest. You must have a Zoom Pro account to use these, your visitors need only the free version

There are TWO zoom links for TWO Zoom Rooms.

The first Zoom Room ( Contest Room)  will Contain the contestants, judges, contest chair and their supporting ‘staff’. There will be one zoom account called audience.

The second room (audience room) will contain all the ‘audience’.  They can watch what goes on in the contest room through the zoom audience.

  • This allows me to ‘turn on’ and ‘turn off’ the view of the contest room ‘stage’.
  • This also means that we can give the contest chair privacy to ensure every contestant has working mic, video and can see the timekeeper and brief them as required. 
  • In the old way, this would have been done at the side of the stage in a whisper. So we are returning that opportunity.
  • Only judges and speakers in the room will hear this conversation.
The settings of each room 

Cameras, Mic and Chat, screenshare

Only the Contest Chair, timekeepers, and a speaker when about to speak should have their video on. As per lastest TMI, all other cameras must stay off, except when in breakout rooms.

All mics will be muted except when they are needed, and this will be controlled by the event technical team.

Likewise, messaging will be limited to just to the host during the speeches, but will be enabled if the contest chair or chief judge requests it.

Video and Mic will be allowed when briefings are being held in the breakout rooms.

Screen sharing can be utilized by a speaker in the form of a slide show under the agreement of the Chief Judge.


Before the contest

All judges must change their names to judge x, and upload a plain image onto their profile, before they connect to the meeting, so they can not be identified.
They can be shown how to do this during the pre-competition meeting.

Judges must keep their mic and video off during the whole contest.  They will be moved from the contest room to a breakout room where they will go through the normal briefing procedure with the chief judge, only during the time in breakout room meetings will their microphones will be enabled.

In the same way, the contestants will be moved to a breakout room, so that they can be briefed.  Speakers will be moved out of the breakout room by the technical staff on instruction from the Contest Chair.

How competition speeches will run

The audience will be off

The speaker will be called to speak by the contest chair and their webcam and microphone will be turned on. They will be asked to confirm the vid and microphone are working and that they can see the timekeeper

When the contest chair is ready, they will confirm the speaker is ready.

I will announce “live in 3-2-1” 

The audience will be ‘turned on’

The contest chair can do the official announcement and the contestant can also go straight into their speech.

Q. At the end of the speech, do we allow the audience reaction into the content room for a short time?

The contest chair will ask for a minute on the clock for the judges.

I will then ‘turn off the audience’ and confirm the audience is ‘on hold’, 

The speaker will be asked to turn off their webcam and their audio will be muted.

The contest chair can then prepare the next contestant, while the judges work on their scores.

When the next contestant is ready and the one min for the judges is over, the contest chair will confirm they are ready and we will again “turn on the audience” and go around again.

How the evaluation contest will be run

The audience will be off

the mystery speaker will be called to the stage and their Mic, video will be checked with the contest chair. When things are ready the contest chair will let me know.

I will turn on the audience with ‘live in 3-2-1’ the contest chair can then announce the completion and the mystery speak will do their speech.

At the end of the speech, The audience will then be turned off.

All evaluation contestants will be moved to a breakout room with the Sargent at arms or usher, and chief judge. All videos will be turned on. Evaluators will be breifed and given the usual time to write their notes. When that is complete, they will be asked to put their notes behind them.

The chief judge will return to the contest room and the SAR, or Usher will monitor the evaluators for compliance.

One by one, the evaluators will be returned to the contest room. The contest chair will check their mic and video, that they can see the timekeepers and tell me they are ready.

I will turn on the audience, the contest chair can then announce the evaluator and they can do their speech.

When their speech is completed, the contest chair can ask for one minute had the audience will be turned off. I will confirm the audience is off.

The contest chair can then have the next evaluator brought from the breakout room for the briefing. The evaluator that has completed their speech should turn off their camera. Their mic will be muted for them

Final Voting

The audience will be off until the results are announced.

A set of Rooms will be opened for each judge.

The chief just and ballot counters will be moved through each room to speak with each judge and collect their votes if they need to see the signed paper they can do that by holding the paperwork up to the camera to be witnessed by the chief judge and their ballot counters.

When all judges have given their votes, the breakout rooms will be closed.

One breakout room will then be opened for the chief judge and ballot counters to go into and do their deliberation.  

The chief judge can then message the “technical host” they are ready and the contest room will be told.

Q. Do the chief judge and contest chair want a breakout room for a short chat?

When the contest chair and chief judge are ready, then all the contestants can turn on their webcams.

The audience will then be turned on and the results can be announced.

Each “winner” can have their camera turned on so as to take a bow from the audience.