In 2013 our VPE (Ga Lok Chung) delivered an educational speech on effective evaluations. In 2014, just last month, he took first place at both our Club and Area Evaluation Contests. Here, Ga Lok shares with a summary of the key points of effectively evaluating in Toastmasters.
For the speaker, evaluations give immediate feedback, identifies what to do for their next speech project and encourages them to keep going.
For evaluator, you get to practice your own analytical skills, it counts towards your competent leadership award and you get to practice all the other speech skills you have been building up.
How to evaluate:
The golden steps are:
- Discussion. Before the meeting starts or during the break, meet the person you are evaluating. Pick up their competent communicator book, review the objectives together and get a feel for what they want you to look out for.
- Interest. Find a good place to sit so that you can fully observe the speaker, make sure you are there from beginning till end and use all your active listening skills to show a genuine interest in the topic they have chosen. Take down notes and key points, but don’t let that distract you from giving the speech you full attention.
- Preparation. Get your notes into good order so that you are ready to give your evaluation. If you are new to this, think about what you saw, what you heard and how did the speech make you feel. For more experienced evaluators, focus on structure, delivery and content. Use the objectives as a guide but you don’t need to regurgitate it. Toastmasters advises taking the Commend, Commend, Recommend, Recommend, strongest Commend and Summary (CCRRCS) format. It gives a clear structure and you then focus on just the important pieces of feedback.
- Evaluation. Use all of your body language, voice projection and eye contact skills to deliver the evaluation. Use small note cards to remind you of key points and ensure you are evaluating the speech and not the person. So begin with “I” felt/heard/saw rather than “You” did this/that/other. Give examples from the speech and during recommendations, give a demonstration of how you would approach it.
- Motivation. At the end of the meeting, go through the feedback and complete the competent communicator work book with the speaker, be fair and encouraging; we want all of our members to become confident competent communicators.
You can become an evaluator as soon as you’ve completed your first speech: the icebreaker. Practicing on a regular basis will not help others in the club, it should also inspire and motivate you for your future speeches. Log onto D71 and sign up at the next meeting.
In my next blog article, I will be publishing a list of advanced areas for you to look out for and accommodate into your evaluations, which will be useful if you are evaluating an advanced speaker.