Saturday, January 21, 2012

What To Look For When Giving Evaluations

Giving an evaluation is considered one of the hardest things to do in Toastmasters.  While it may be easy to be critical, it is not so easy to provide encouraging feedback and ideas for growth that is also encouraging.  The difficulty can be compounded when you have to evaluate a more experienced speaker.  But every speaker wants to improve and needs the input of others to accomplish that goal.  Here are some tips to help you in your next evaluation.
What to look for:
  • Does the speakers posture add or detract from the speech
  • Where is the speaker standing (behind or in front of the lectern)
  • Are there any repetitive motions (touch ear, wringing hands)
  • Are gestures over or under exaggerated
  • If the speaker walks around, are the movements from one place to another smooth
  • Does the speaker maintain good I contact with his entire audience
  • Did the speaker take control of the room
What to listen for:
  • Are there any pauses
  • Are the words easy to understand
  • Are there any interesting words
  • Does the speaker have any crutch words, phrases, or sounds
  • Is the volume sufficient for the environment
  • Is there any vocal variety, both in volume and pace
  • Was there a definite Introduction, Body and Conclusion
  • Were you able to hear the transitions from one point to the next
  • Could you outline the speech
Other suggestions:
  • Ask the speaker if there is anything specific he/she wants you to look for
  • Look for one or two suggestions for improvement, spend the rest of your evaluation talking about what you liked
  • Be familiar with the objectives of the speech and comment on the success of meeting those objectives
  • Don’t fill out the evaluation form until after the speech.  This will allow you to focus more on the speech.
  • If selected to speak during Table Topics, pass the question to another member.  Today your evaluation is more important.
  • Listen to other evaluators and take note of what they focus on.
  • Always give a suggestion for improvement.
These are only a few ideas to use for your next evaluation.  Remember every Toastmaster wants to improve and every Toastmaster has something important to say.  This includes a first time evaluator.

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