Especially if you're in Toastmasters, you may wish to challenge yourself to compete in a speaking contest.

Here are a few tips for winners.

  1. Read the ballot. The judges will score you based on a variety of factors. Why guess at what they are? For example, if you don't include a summary at the end, the highest score you can earn in the speech evaluation contest is 80%. I've seen a lot of great evaluators lose that way.
  2. Watch videos of previous winners. Look for the World Championship of Public Speaking Finalists on YouTube and see who the judges have picked. Even though I'm not a fan of “poor me” stories, that contest has a for awarding the prize to the biggest victim.
  3. Which all goes to show, you never know who the judges are or what they think makes a a winner. I've lost a few to people I thought should never have made it past the first round. And I've seen people I thought were easy winners not even place.

Want to win a contest?

Craft an excellent speech.

Begin with a strong beginning and end with a powerful .

Be dynamic and authentic.

And then don't worry about whether or not you actually take home a simulated real gold trophy.

If preparing for and delivering a contest speech made you a better than you were before, you can declare yourself a winner whether the judges recognize you or not.

The only person you ever really have to compete with is yourself.