There are 3 main Evaluator roles in a Toastmasters Meeting.

  • Table Topics Evaluator
  • Prepared Speech Evaluator
  • General or Master Evaluator

The first two are covered here. The General Evaluator is covered separately.

Table Topics Evaluator

Before the Meeting – prepare a list of possible points to evaluate such as stage presence, body language, vocal variety, eye contact, structure, explanation, relevance, clarity etc.

Fulfilling the Role – Evaluating a Table Topics answer is not about evaluating the answer itself but the effectiveness with which it was presented and how it was received by the audience.

Delivering Your Evaluation – The evaluator has limited time to deliver an evaluation of a number of speakers therefore it can be helpful to discuss trends amongst the speakers. That way remarks to individuals can be limited to individuals where there is helpful advice specific to that person’s answer.

In order to keep in your time limit, don’t discuss the good answers at length. They
can be mentioned in passing so that you can devote your remarks to the areas and people where they
will be of the most benefit.

In essence try and give one good point and one point for improvement about each speaker.

Prepared Speech Evaluator

Toastmasters are expected to put time and effort into their speech preparation. It is fair that they expect a certain amount of effort is invested in delivering them an appropriate and effective evaluation.

Before the Meeting – As a speech evaluator you need to take the time to know and understand the objectives of the speech project being undertaken.

The objectives of the speech are what the speech is being evaluated against. The evaluator is not evaluating the content of the speech but the organisation and presentation of it.

Prepare headings to evaluate against taking into account general aspects of speaking such as stage presence, eye contact, body language etc and specific aspects relating to the objectives of the speech.

During the Speech – Listen with purpose to the speech. Make precise, concise notes under the headings you prepared. Transfer the most relevant and constructive notes to the speaker’s manual.

Delivering Your Evaluation – Deliver your evaluation as a speech from separate notes not as answers to questions in a manual. A good evaluation is friendly, fair and positive.
The main purpose of an evaluation is to emphasise the strengths of the speaker and encourage

Whenever some weakness or deficiency in the delivery or structure of the speech is apparent, be prepared to offer constructive comments to empower the speaker to improve and develop.

General Notes For Evaluating

  • Remember the rule for a good evaluation – Commend, Recommend, Commend or Praise, Improvement, Praise (P-I-P)
  • Do not criticise! Only comment on a weakness, fault or error if you can show HOW it could have been overcome or presented better
  • It is not your task to say what was good or bad, but WHY it was so
  • Evaluate to motivate!

People join Toastmasters to improve their speaking and leadership skills.These skills are improved with the help of evaluations.

Give the speaker or leader deserved praise and tactful suggestions in the manner you would like to receive them. After the meeting, return the manual to the speaker or leader. Add another word of encouragement and answer any questions the member may have.

By giving feedback, you are personally contributing to your fellow members’ improvement.

Preparing and presenting evaluations is also an opportunity for you to practice your listening, critical thinking, feedback and motivation skills. And when the time comes to receive feedback, you’ll have a better understanding of the process.

It is not your task to say what was good or bad, but WHY it was so!

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