As evaluator your role is to provide feedback to the speaker on a constructive and encouraging way.
Things to do before the meeting
The first thing you should do is to check in the Competent Communicator manual the objectives of the speech you are going to evaluate. These objectives should be your main focus, as the speaker should fulfill them during his/her speech.
You can also contact the speaker in advance and ask him or her if he/she wants you to focus on any additional area during the speech. For example many speakers request their evaluator to look at their hands and whether they show nervousness or they do repetitive movements.
Things to do during the meeting
- Right before the meeting, ask the speaker for his or her Competent Communicator manual so that you can write your evaluator in the manual.
- During the meeting you will be asked to participate twice:
The first time will be right before the speaker delivers his/her speech. You will be requested to briefly explain the objectives of the Competent Communicator project corresponding to the speech that your are going to evaluate. Additionally, if the speaker has given you any additional request you can also explain it now. Remember that you should explain the objectives of the speech to the public, and not only to the speaker, because the speaker is supposed to already know his/her objectives…
The second time you will be asked to participate will be to give your feedback to the speaker. In the following you can find some advices to make a more effective evaluation:
- Don’t be too tough on your evaluations (specially if you are evaluating low level speakers). One of the principles of Toastmaster is motivation to learn and to continue working, so if our evaluation is too discouraging for the speaker he or she may not be motivated to do his/her next speech. And especially for Icebreakers, because in this case your evaluation should reinforce the speaker to continue working and to prepare his/her next speech. This does not mean that you should not be critic, not at all, you should always give tips for improvement but trying to do it in an encouraging way.
- Always try to give some tips for improvement. It is very difficult to find a perfect speech, so struggle to find something to improve, one or two things is enough. If you cannot find them, just try with suggestions to do something in a different way, even if it is not necessarily better.
- Don’t try to focus on too many things. If you try to evaluate too many things you may end up not providing really meaningful feedback. A tip for icebreakers and project 2 speeches: it is very useful to comment on the use of notes, and what we have learnt about the speaker (for icebreakers). You can also provide tips on opening, body and conclusion structure, voice volume and body language. Those are probably the main things to focus.
Your role as evaluator counts towards your Competent Leadership award, so before the meeting remember to ask someone to evaluate you on your evaluator role, and give him or her your Competent Leadership manual so that his/her evaluation can be registered in your manual. So very important, remember to bring your CL manual to the meeting!
Last but not least, if you have a mentor ask him/her for advice about your role, about the club, and about any other doubt that you may have regarding Toastmasters. Do not wait for him/her to contact you! 🙂