Updates to Toastmasters Contest Digital Ballots, Vote Counting Dashboard

The digital ballot for judges and the dashboard used for setting up contests and monitoring the vote count have been updated for 2021, and the documentation has also been updated.

The digital ballot replicates the experience of filling in a traditional paper ballot for judging a Toastmasters contest but streamlines the process for contests conducted online. Try the digital ballot demo.

Taking advantage of the fact that computers are good at doing math, the digital ballot helps judges tally the scores for each speaker and speeds the process of tallying the votes once judges have submitted them.

Setting Up a Toastmasters Contest for Digital Ballots and Online Vote Counting

Contest organizers may create an online vote counting dashboard that works with digital ballots completed by the judges. Once voting begins, the chief judge and ballot counters will be able to watch the votes roll in as shown below.

This article explains how to set up the digital ballots, speaking order, and other prerequisites.

Continue reading “Setting Up a Toastmasters Contest for Digital Ballots and Online Vote Counting”→

Digital Ballot for Toastmasters Contests

As a judge, you will receive an individualized link for each contest you are judging. The link may be password protected for judges who have user accounts on the club website. Also, the order in which the contestants are presented on the form mirrors the speaking order set by the contest organizers.

Here’s a sample ballot.

Online ballot

Continue reading “Digital Ballot for Toastmasters Contests”→

Switching Agenda Templates for a Club Contest

Setting a standard meeting template is one of the keys to using the WordPress for Toastmasters software productively. In addition, it can be helpful to have different templates for other types of meetings or events — with a club level contest as a prime example.

If you will hold your contest during one of your regular meeting times, here is how you would switch from your standard meeting template to a contest template.

Switch to contest template

That “Switch Template” option on the menu is new, something I realized was needed to make this option either to find. The other way to get to the “Apply Template to Existing Event” option is through the Dashboard -> RSVP Events -> Event Templates.

To make this more useful, you will want to create event templates that reflect how your club runs its contests. See Sample Contest Agendas: International Speech and Table Topics and Sample Contest Agendas: Evaluation and Humorous Speech for examples.

Sample Contest Agendas: Evaluation and Humorous Speech

These are sample agendas you can use for a club contest where you want to give members an opportunity to sign up online. See also: Sample Contest Agendas: International Speech and Table Topics and Switching Agenda Templates for a Club Contest.

Copy the text from either of the examples below. Before pasting it into the editor, make sure the WordPress editor is in “Text” mode rather than “Visual.”

When you toggle back to Visual mode, you will see the placeholder images representing the roles and agenda notes, allowing you to edit them further with the popup editor windows.

The evaluation contest form below, viewed in the WordPress editor’s Visual mode.

The idea here is that each of these contests would be the centerpiece of a separate meeting, and we’re estimating how much time will be required for each phase of the contest. For the evaluation contest, we need to provide for a guest speaker or “test speaker” whom the contestants will evaluate. Since that will be a person from outside of the club, we’re included an editable field where the details about that speaker can be filled in once that person is identified.

Evaluation Contest Form
The Evaluation Contest signups form in Edit Signups mode, with an editable field for entering details about the test speaker.

Evaluation Contest

Copy and paste (with the WordPress editor in text mode):

[agenda_note agenda_display="both" strong="" italic="" size="" style="" alink="" editable="" time_allowed="5"]Sgt. at Arms calls the meeting to the order.  President or Presiding Officer introduces the Contest Master [/agenda_note]

[toastmaster role="Contest Master" count="1" agenda_note="Introduces supporting roles. Leads the meeting." time_allowed="12" padding_time="0" indent="0"]

[toastmaster role="Chief Judge" count="1" agenda_note="" ]

[toastmaster role="Timer" count="1" agenda_note="" ]

[toastmaster role="Vote Counter" count="1" agenda_note="" ]

[toastmaster role="Videographer" count="1" agenda_note="" ]

[agenda_note agenda_display="both" strong="" italic="" size="" style="" alink="" editable="Test Speaker Introduction" time_allowed="8"]For the evaluation contest, we invite a guest or test speaker to give a 5-7 minute speech for the contestants to evaluate.[/agenda_note]

[toastmaster role="Evaluation Contestant" count="8" agenda_note="" time_allowed="20" padding_time="0" indent="0"]

[toastmaster role="Topics Master" count="1" agenda_note="" time_allowed="15" padding_time="0" indent="0"]

[agenda_note agenda_display="both" strong="" italic="" size="" style="" alink="" editable="" time_allowed="10"]Awards ceremony[/agenda_note]

[agenda_note agenda_display="agenda" strong="" italic="" size="" style="" alink="" editable="" time_allowed="15"]We'll do self introductions at the end, as well as any announcements.[/agenda_note]

Humorous Speech Contest

Copy and paste (with the WordPress editor in text mode):

[agenda_note agenda_display="both" strong="" italic="" size="" style="" alink="" editable="" time_allowed="5"]Sgt. at Arms calls the meeting to the order.  President or Presiding Officer introduces the Contest Master [/agenda_note]

[toastmaster role="Contest Master" count="1" agenda_note="Introduces supporting roles. Leads the meeting." time_allowed="12" padding_time="0" indent="0"]

[toastmaster role="Chief Judge" count="1" agenda_note="" ]

[toastmaster role="Timer" count="1" agenda_note="" ]

[toastmaster role="Vote Counter" count="1" agenda_note="" ]

[toastmaster role="Videographer" count="1" agenda_note="" ]

[toastmaster role="Humorous Speech Contestant" count="10" agenda_note="" time_allowed="60" padding_time="0" indent="0"]

[agenda_note agenda_display="both" strong="" italic="" size="" style="" alink="" editable="" time_allowed="10"]Awards ceremony[/agenda_note]

[agenda_note agenda_display="agenda" strong="" italic="" size="" style="" alink="" editable="" time_allowed="15"]We'll do self introductions at the end, as well as any announcements.[/agenda_note]