7 Keys to a Successful Evaluation by Ayd Instone President Bardwell Speakers 2006-7 There are three types of feedback that are used by the rest of the world: the rescuer, the victim and the prosecutor. Each of these types of feedback are given to benefit themselves, giving them power over the thing they are giving feedback to in some way. At Toastmasters we do it very differently - a fourth way, that of coach and mentor, enhancing the speaker's self esteem, reinforcing the successes and offering recommendations for the future. Here are 7 keys to offering a successful evaluation:
1. Consider objectives Go through the manual and ask what the speaker is looking to improve. Offer reassurance. You are not testing or judging but coaching.
2. Preparation and note-taking Use a method like Mind-Mapping to allow you to record your thoughts in a non-linear way. Another way of doing this is to divide your page into a grid where you can write comments on different aspects of the speech. Number the comments you've made to create an order Choose an opening statement and a closing remark first. Choose a suitable theme to structure your speech - remember it is still a speech, not a list.
3. Show you are interested in the speech Be sincere, be detailed. Focus on the speech, not your jokes. Show strengths and weaknesses.
4. How to say it Your evaluation is always personal, subjective - it's what you think. It's personal. You are not speaking for what you think the audience thought, just what you thought. Don't use global statements like "You should have...", instead say "I suggest that..."
5. Evaluate the speech, not the speaker Don't impose your values on the speaker. Don't add an appendix to the material or your own take on it. Don't quote vast sections of their speech. Evaluate the speech, not the speaker. (ie. what the speaker does, not what the speaker is)
6. Encourage Promote self-esteem so that the speaker will want to speak again. Keep it upbeat - especially the recommendations, especially the ending. Don't end on a recommendation. Weave them throughout. End with your chosen closing statement, never "and that's all I can say really".
7. Recommendations Without these there is no improvement Don't flatter, false praise or use to many superlatives. Don't just point out what was weak, offer real suggestions for the speaker to try. Even with an accomplished speaker there is always some help you can give. Don't blindly praise a poor speech - you're cursing that speaker to mediocrity if you do.
And finally: A good evaluation is the point of learning and growth for both the speaker and the evaluator. Strive to improve your evaluation skills to accelerate the confidence and strengths of your speakers, to make giant leaps in your own understanding and your own presentation skills. You'll soon find that good evaluations are the key to the very live blood of a vibrant, effective club.