Your job as an evaluator is to help a speaker learn what they do well and what they could improve upon. This job is made easier by the Toastmaster manuals which outlines the objectives of each speech and what you should look for when doing your evaluation.
- Ask the Gen Evaluator (GE) to put you in contact with the speaker you will be evaluating. This is often done by the Master Toastmaster/Toastmaster of the meeting (MT) but it is the GE’s job to make the speaker/evaluator pairings and to make sure each speaker and their evaluator are in communication.
- Contact the speaker and ask if there are any concerns. Ask if there are any particular things the speaker would like you to look for as sometimes a speaker may know of certain quirks e.g. not enough pauses or doing funny things with their hands, that are not part of what the speech project calls for.
- Copy the GE on at least one of the email communications between you and the speaker to let them know you are in contact, or just send the GE an email copying the speaker to let the GE know that you both are in communication. It helps the GE to know this.
- Remind the speaker you are evaluating to bring their manual to the meeting. Make sure to do this the night before as they may go to work the next day and not be able to get their manual if you only remind them at work.
At the meeting
- Before the meeting starts ask the speaker you will be evaluating for their manual and provide any support they may need. Give them a confidence boost like “You’ll be great.”
- Sit somewhere to the back of the room so that you can make sure your speaker is projecting to reach the entire audience.
- Take notes using the guidelines in the speaker’s manual. Don’t try to write your speech, but instead use short phrases along with a plus or negative sign to remind you where to include it in your speech. For example when you start you will mention more of the items with a plus in your notes no matter where they are in your notes. Then you can mention the items with a negative sign as areas to improve. Using the plus and negative signs will help you group all the positives together when you are talking about what you liked.
- Position yourself closer to the lectern so that when the GE introduces you that the transition is quick and sharp.
- Thank the GE and give a proper salutation which separates the name of the speaker you are evaluating e.g. “Thank you Madame General Evaluator. Members of the Executive, Welcome Guests, Fellow Toastmasters and John.
- Address your evaluation to the entire audience not just to the speaker e.g. “John did speech # … with the following objectives: … I think he met those objectives. What I liked about John’s speech was …”
- Establish eye-contact with the entire audience, as well as the speaker depending on when you switch from addressing the speaker in the third or first person.
- Take care to include at least one thing that the speaker could do to improve.
- Avoid the words “but”, and “however” as many listeners tend to interpret these words as negating all the good things said before.
- End with a complement to the speaker to make sure that they feel motivated to improve and do their next speech.
- Hand the lectern back to the GE.
- Make sure to properly fill out the evaluation in the speaker’s manual if you haven’t done so already.
- Give the speaker any remaining feedback that you may not have had time to give when you were at the lectern.
- Get the GE (or someone else) to evaluate your evaluation in the CL manual.
Click here to read TI’s Evaluator role explanation.