My heroes are the people that transform perceptions of what is possible and what you can accomplish if you put your mind to it. Take for instance Roger Bannister; for year’s experts stated that the human body was simply not capable of a 4-minute mile. It wasn’t just dangerous; it was impossible – yet in May 1954, he accomplished this feat. What make’s it so interesting is that there were no sudden catalysts such as technology that enabled him to achieved this, he simply had the certainty in himself that he could do the un-doable. Once he crashed through that barrier, the rest of the world saw that it was possible, and the 4-minute mile challenge has since been broken routinely.
For my more modest Toastmaster themed challenge – we encourage speakers to leave their notes off the stage yet I have never seen a General Evaluation completed without notes. The General Evaluator is usually a visitor to another Toastmaster club and responsible for the evaluation of the entire meeting and all the functionaries combining a tricky triple task of:
1. Using your public speaking techniques
2. Giving constructive feedback to everyone
3. Rapidly familiarising yourself with a group of strangers
Is it un-doable to give a great General Evaluation without notes?
My challenge: Complete 20 General Evaluations without any notes before my tenure as City of London club President ends in June 2015.
Since November I’ve completed 8 and another 5 are scheduled in over the next few weeks. The jaw dropping feedback has been fantastic as I’ve become more and more comfortable with the challenge; now I’m hoping that with every club visit I’m breaking the barrier and inspiring more people to go for it.
For those of you who want to take up the challenge, the 3 most common questions I get asked are:
How do remember everyone’s name?
Preparation. Request a copy of the agenda before the meeting and make a point of introducing yourself to each functionary whilst people are settling down at the start and in the break.
How do you remember all the feedback?
Conciseness. You’ve got 10 mins, to give feedback to about 11 people. Don’t get lost in pages of notes and details, just focus on the 2 or 3 observations that really stood out in the meeting for each person.
Do you use any memory tricks?
Apart from preparation and conciseness? I appreciate that every person who goes up to speak wants to improve, so I’ll always put something in help them. If it’s important to you, you’ll find a way to make it work.
Written by Ga Lok Chung