Online Contest Voting and Tabulation

This online voting tool speeds the tabulation of Toastmasters contest results and is particularly useful for contests conducted online, where the judges and contest functionaries are not all in the same room. See the related blog post and video demo for an overview of how it works. The video tutorial embedded below gives more how-to details for contest organizers.

You can see a demo of the user interface for judges here.

This tool is built into the club websites created with WordPress for Toastmasters. On this website, it is independently available for the use of areas, divisions, and districts, as well as clubs that do not use the WordPress for Toastmasters software.

Contest Event Setup

Enter the name of your organization and the date of your event. You will add specific contest details on the next page.

You must be logged in with a toastmost.org user account to set up a contest scoring dashboard.

Login or register an account.

The same user account allows you to create a club website using WordPress for Toastmasters, which includes an integrated version of this contest scoring system. (You do not actually have to go through the process of setting up a club website if all you want is access to this tool.)

I think the Toastmost contest tools are remarkable.  I served as chief judge for a division contest.  The tools made the job so easy.  I held an online training session for contest officials a few days before the contest.  It was easy for the officials to use the tools.  I had very few questions.  I had eight (8) judges voting and experienced problems with only one.  We used a work around for that one judge. 

I am a huge fan of the contest tools.

Lillian Cooke, DTM, Area 11 Director,  District 77

Video: Tutorial for Contest Organizers

Updates: Since this video was recorded, two elements of the contest organizer’s dashboard have moved to tabs at the bottom of the screen:

  • Email Links – this tab will help you send coded links to the judges and the timer. You can now send the links to one judge at a time or everyone at once.
  • Backup Forms – if any of the judges are unable to use the online ballot but get you their votes some other way (such as texting them to you), you can enter them on their behalf. They will then be added to the final tally.

Video: Contest Speech Timing Tool

Streaming the Timer Video to Zoom

If you want to share screen colors in a Zoom meeting, you will need some sort of webcam or streaming software. I use OBS Studio, which is free, open source software that allows you to mix your webcam video with other video sources. The virtual camera function, which used to require a separate plugin but is built into the latest release of OBS, must be turned on. In Zoom, you will then select OBS Virtual Camera as your video source.

Click Start Virtual Camera to begin sending output to the virtual camera. In OBS, you will select the timer window or the popup timer as the video source to use as your background.

Selecting the Virtual Camera in Zoom

Here’s a good tutorial on green screen setup for OBS Studio.

If your club has a Toastmost.org website, or its own WordPress-powered website, the same tool is available from a contest agenda. For regular meetings, the timer pulls in the names of speakers and evaluators from the agenda and gives you options for timing Table Topics and other events.