Role of the Evaluator
Evaluations are one of the most unique, and most important, aspects of the Toastmasters Program. The purpose of the evaluator is to provide the speaker with constructive feedback, positive reinforcement and areas that need improvement.
The Program Schedule will list Evaluators and Speakers. When the General Evaluator communicates with you before the meeting, you will be told the speaker you have been assigned.
At the meeting, obtain the speaker's manual and review the purpose of the speech and suggested methods for achieving that purpose. Review the questions listed in the evaluation guide. Listen attentively to the speaker. This is one of your best opportunities for improving your listening skills. You may also wish to jot notes while the speaker is speaking.
When the speaker is finished, write your evaluation on the Evaluation Guide page in the speakers manual. Organize your thoughts for the oral evaluation. The oral evaluation should be a mini-speech with greetings, opening, body and conclusion or summary. The General Evaluator will call on you at the appropriate time for delivery of your evaluation.
Start your evaluation with a positive point and end with a positive one if you want to keep the speaker's attention and friendship. However, be sure to include some points for improvement in the middle. Remember that you are giving your opinions and reactions, so be careful about using strong dictatorial words like "wrong,", "never" or "always."
"I think" is a good phrase for an Evaluator to use. In addition to the points covered in the Evaluation guide some other points to consider are:
How the speaker performed compared to previous speeches you have heard the speaker deliver,
Body language (eye contact, gestures, facial expressions for example)
Use of voice
Use of visual aids
How well prepared?
Word selection, vocabulary
Other items of special interest to speaker
While it is not your duty to editorialize about the speech content, a comment about the speech's value in making others think and vividness of descriptions are certainly in order.
Please do not cover areas that the speaker cannot change, such as stuttering. Those would only serve to embarrass the speaker and the other members.
When offering points that need improvement, try to also offer possible means for improving these points. Be as specific as possible. More advanced (in ability, not necessarily in membership length) members need more "Picky" evaluations. For the beginner, particularly for an Ice Breaker, be careful not to overload them with negatives. Remember that we like to help others build self-confidence as they improve.
A summary of the speaker's major strengths and a couple of the most important weaknesses or "needs improvements" is helpful at the end of your evaluation.
You will be speaking primarily to the speaker you are evaluating. However, do not ignore the rest of the audience since they, too, may pick up some self-improvement tips from your comments.
The evaluation should be delivered in a standing position near your chair. Target time for a speech evaluation is 2 minutes.
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