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Evaluation: A Secret behind successful speakers

“Not everything that can be measured is important... and not everything important can be measured.” (Albert Einstein)

All hail Albert. That’s to say it is easy to measure the money in our pocket, the ‘likes’ for our photos or the distance we ran this morning. How important are these? Conversely, how possible is it really to calculate success, and do we even know what personal happiness means, let alone possess the parameters with which to measure it? I, for one, do not. The Ah-Counter can count our filler words and noises, while the Timer can total the minutes and seconds of our speeches. But a Toastmaster’s evaluation performs the vital role of measuring something phenomenally important: it measures the speaker’s own personal progress and development.

An excellent evaluation is a deep and personal input from one person to another after a period of observation and reflection. It is something that motivates a speaker, educates, and enlightens them as to where they stand on their personal path of public speaking. A good evaluation should also point the speaker in the direction of their goals and objectives. I would argue, in this case, that it is measurable and important.

That is why I believe evaluations are the most important part of Toastmasters, and also why I am passionate about them! I have been lucky enough to receive evaluations in multiple areas of my life that have helped me measure my own progress - including academic study, professional performance, and even relationships with friends and family. It is a privilege to be able to give this value back to someone else, even in a small way.

I am new to Toastmaster evaluations, but I have seen how valuable they can be. If you get the opportunity to help clarify and measure a fellow Toastmaster’s progress – then do it. Don’t worry about the audience, it’s about the speaker! Make it thoughtful, make it genuine, and make it personal. The rest will follow.