Spa Speakers

Evaluate to Motivate – why effective speech evaluation is so important

Evaluating a speaker can be daunting, but following a structured set of guidelines can make it less so, lead to more effective evaluations and result in greater growth, for both individual members and the club as a whole.

This article will answer the following questions:

  1. What is an effective evaluation?
  2. What are the benefits of an effective evaluation?

It will also offer practical guidelines to help you with the evaluation process.


What is an Effective Evaluation?

  • Feedback which is honest, positive, encouraging, and which helps people grow in their speaking skills
  • Feedback which is solely reinforcing what the speaker has done well is not effective as the recommendations are what help people to develop
  • An evaluation is not a recap of the speech, but speech examples can be used to highlight how the learning objectives (both manual and personal) were met, and how and where improvements could be made
  • An evaluation is the personal opinion of the evaluator, and the language used needs to reflect this. For example, “I really liked how….”

What are the Benefits of an Effective Evaluation?

An effective evaluation has benefits to the speaker, the evaluator and to the club.

Benefits to the speaker:

Benefits to the evaluator:

Benefits to the club:

Practical Guidelines for Conducting Your Evaluation

Before the Speech

  • Accept role on D71
  • Contact the speaker, confirm speech project, title, timings and personal objectives
  • Read both the speakers guide and evaluator’s guide in the educational materials prior to the start of the meeting
  • Contact your mentor if necessary (e.g. for your first evaluation)

Ideally, you will not be asked to evaluate until you have completed 2-3 speeches yourself.

During the Speech

  • Seat yourself so that you have a clear view of the speaker, or in a position that will assist with your evaluation. For example, if the speaker’s personal objective is their volume being loud enough, a seat near the back will help you to be sure whether this objective is met
  • Take your notes in such a way that you can easily relate them to the objectives, and clearly identify what are your commendations and recommendations. Some people may write straight into the manual or evaluation forms, but personally I find my notes are too messy for this!

After the Speech

  • Review notes, and decide on how to structure your verbal feedback – CRC* perfect for Table Topics, CCRRC** is a good formula for longer, prepared speeches
  • Have an opening, use the CRC formula in the body, then deliver your summary at the end, finishing with your favourite commendation
  • Deliver no more than two recommendations verbally

*C=Commendation
**R=Recommendation!

During the Verbal Evaluation

  • State the speaker’s name, speech title and speech project – refer to the objectives in the manual and hold up manual to illustrate/read from if appropriate, and whether or not you felt they were met
  • Speak with enthusiasm and be specific with your examples for both commendations and recommendations
  • Think of your recommendations as ‘gifts’ for the speaker – these are essential to help the speaker move forward. Practise integrating them naturally into your evaluation, without necessarily highlighting that they are recommendations
  • Finish with your favourite commendation (repeated here on purpose!)

Written Evaluation

Complete the written evaluation in the speaker’s manual or evaluation form. Include more commendations and recommendations than in your verbal feedback if appropriate.

Conclusion

  • An effective evaluation is the personal opinion of the evaluator, and one that is delivered in a positive and encouraging way to promote the speaker’s growth, and motivate them to progress
  • Effective evaluations have many benefits for the speaker, the evaluator and the club
  • Following guidelines, or a process, especially if you are a newer member, will help both the speaker and the evaluator get the most out of the experience

If you were feeling daunted by evaluations, I hope you are feeling more confident now at tackling your next, and perhaps so confident you may like to enter the club evaluation contest!

As a club, let’s EVALUATE to MOTIVATE!

Rachael Siggers

Rachael Siggers

Member at Spa Speakers
I first heard of Toastmasters many years ago in my last year at Teacher’s College in New Zealand. I went along to my first meeting that week and was immediately hooked! When I came to live in England, one of the first things I did was to check out online where the closest club would be. I was excited to discover Spa Speakers. I really enjoy preparing for speeches and roles, and always feel really positively charged at the end of each meeting!
Rachael Siggers
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