When You are the Sergeant-at-Arms

Click for the Sergeant-at-Arms’ Guide

How to Be a Highly Effective Contest Sergeant at Arms

  1. Be Early
    You will be asked to assist in setting up the room. Show up to the contest at least an hour and a half prior to the “Call to Attention”. You will also need to attend the Judges Briefing as well as both Contestants’ briefings. Again, be on time!!!
  2. Be Professional
    You are a representative of the Area / Division at which contest you will be working as SAA. Please be sure to be dressed appropriately. A jacket and tie with a dress shirt, dress slacks and shoes are considered appropriate attire for a speech contest. NO JEANS!!
  3. Be Positive
    Guests will approach you for directions and will have questions. Please be sure to smile and greet them warmly!!
  4. Be Prepared
    Make sure you obtain a copy of the timed agenda prior to the contest.
  5. Be a Good Listener
    During the Contestants’ briefings, you may be asked to handle props. Pay attention to the contestants’ needs. Also make sure you take note of the contestant speaking order. If they need props, you will need to know exactly when to provide them. Some contestants may prefer a lectern or microphone, some may not. It is your job to know and assist. Pay attention!
  6. Be Discreet
    You will need to sequester the contestants in an Evaluation or Table Topics contest to a separate room. Ensure that they won’t accidentally hear the other contestants giving evaluations. (In Spring 2011, though, sequestering contestants will not be required.)
  7. Be Loud
    As SAA, you are responsible for giving the two and five minute warnings. You will also announce the Judges Briefing as well as the two Contestants’ briefings. Make sure everyone at the contest venue hears the warning announcements.
  8. Be Clear
    You are giving restroom directions and cell phone instructions as well as introducing the Area/Division Director. Please don’t mumble.