Art of Effective Evaluation

Thank you toastmaster ….. or shall I say thank you Toastmaster ….. for wonderful compliments and detailed introduction or thank you Toastmaster, but don’t you think I need more appropriate introduction or thank you toastmaster for the introduction however a little detail could have flatter me..

Though all these sentences seems to be the same but they sound different, their structure looks different as well as they make one feel different.

Mr Toastmaster, Fellow Toastmasters and dear Guests, I am here to present an education module from the successful club series on the Art of Effective Evaluation with the aim of evaluate to motivate which addresses the subject of quality club meetings.

Wait a minute, you noticed I just acknowledged the whole audience and that is the custom in my club or which I follow religiously so my evaluator should appreciate me and the judges should mark me positive and if I hadn’t done that they should have mark me down.

No no no…that is a misconception Mam and sir and there are so many other misunderstandings like that. Like the mistakes men and women or rather I say girls and boys do while noticing or judging each other.

A wise person don’t judge anyone or anything in life on pre conceived notions or just on the basis of old conventions.

Every Speech or person has his own ideas and  own natural way to represent and also it’s the matter of choice and priorities what he/she wants to include and convey with the help of thoughts, presentation, appearance, etc. so accept them all with a positive attitude.

But we all do mistakes or sometimes we miss things or aren’t aware of them and it’s then a little piece of fruitful and appropriate advice could do wonders.

Still why shall I evaluate someone.

  1. It helps the speaker to improve by providing supportive feedback and offering a new perspective.
  2. It let evaluator discover some new things that he might be missing and gives him or her opportunity to learn and improve as a speaker as well as a person. Also it helps to build analytical skills and how well one is able to understand things.
  3. It helps club in maintaining quality of meetings.

For evaluating someone or something we must know what we are looking for or what a speech should be like.

  1. It should have purpose and objective  of presentation- whether to educate, motivate, persuade, or may just to entertain.
  2. A speech should take care of the Audience and the context of audience to select the objective and speech approach.

– Where and when it is being presented- Is it a conference, meeting, social club, public place, any special event,occasion etc

– Is the audience appropriate for such a presentation- For example a science presentation given to students of arts.

– & The demographic features of the audience-  Technical, students, elderly, athletes, business leaders etc..

But the crux point comes next- I.e. The speech content and its organisation. The evaluator can look for:

1.Things that strengthen and support the main points of the message. Examples and stories usually act as the pillars

  1. Is the message well delivered and focussed or it tried to deviate from the main argument rest depends on the objectives of speech.
  2. Were there any points which weaken the message delivered or were there any ambiguities in the part of message. However we couldn’t recommend much on part of content because it is someone’s own thoughts.
  3. Next in line is the logical and seamless flow of words and thoughts between lines and different parts of the speech.

For example someone delivered the whole presentation and at the end it is mentioned that it was about a new soft drink which is going to be launched, the audience may not make a good sense out of it.

  1. The last in line is the call for action or conclusion, in effect we call IBC approach I.e. Introduction Body Conclusion.

Now we know what all is required in a good presentation but how we are going to evaluate someone, there should be a approach, again unique of each evaluator however there can be some common things –

The structure of your evaluation-

You can start with what went well and the key strengths the speaker already has.  Then coming towards what can be improved and how and then adding some points of encouragement and a brief conclusion or summary.

The approach is called CRC I.e.

Commendation Recommendation Commendation

or CRE I.e. Commendation Recommendation

Encouragement or Sandwich approach.

Why this approach? Again it’s a matter of choice.

But this way you make the speaker feel motivated to improve and not demotivated by stating just the shortcomings.

Remember the way I thanked the Tmod.

  1. I don’t like the introduction toastmaster- words used as a weapon only not supported by any positivity- I am using only a harsh tone.

Don’t make depressed or demotivated or threatened. The aim is to encourage. If still there is a person who disagree with this point I would like to say it as –

If you want to judge someone step in their shoes and may be then you can say something

Or Put yourself in the position of the speaker before giving your evaluation.

  1. Wonderful compliments toastmaster- flattery only and a false praise.

Be truthful but don’t be harsh or rude as well.

If you don’t like the speech or a component of speech don’t say you did. Because dishonest praise will only damage your credibility and character.

This depicts  the technique involved I.e. Rude Sarcastic Flattery Motivational Sympathetic etc..and you know which one can help.

The Difference is like rude means – saying what went wrong and supportive means – saying what can be improved

Exploring recommendations further- many question arises

  1. Shall I give a lot of recommendations – No- Generally a count of 3 which needs most attention. How can l expect someone to work on all areas at once. Otherwise it seems I am pointing out shortcomings.
  2. Next question is what all should be included in recommendation part – it is what to Improve, why to improve that particular point because speaker may not understand Evaluator’s point of view. And how to improve- try to explain with an example.

Don’t just talk but demonstrate.

Because if I am doing a mistake or somewhere I can improve then how can I can improve unless someone tells me how can I do that. There is a saying its too easy to pin point others but you must yourself be knowing it first at least how to do that.

And also try to be specific..whether it’s praise or recommendation etc because specific feedback whether positive or negative is more meaningful than the generic one

A common example is – The speaker can use hand gestures aptly because hands clasped or in pocket etc pass the message to the audience that the speaker is nervous and this may affect the effectiveness of the delivery of the message. The speaker can use open hand gestures like this to support his arguments or like wavering of hands depending on the speech content.

Why should one summarize the evaluation- it’s because If you don’t summarize your 3 minute evaluation the speaker might lose what you may have said and it won’t let him to take any action to improve upon.

Let’s clear out some more misconceptions or tips –

  1. You can use 1st person, 2nd person or 3rd person but maintain same throughout to avoid confusion and it should not make you disconnect from the audience so on safer side can use 3rd person.
  2. Analyse the speech or presentation and not the speaker

You should be aware of the objectives of the speaker’s presentation. You may avoid evaluating the speaker’s objective. For example the speech is about stop recycling but you are a person who always recycle things, don’t let that influence your evaluation.

Don’t give your own speech or your own life experience that’s not your Aim or Don’t give summary of the speech.

Sometimes it is required to consider the skill level of a speaker-

  1. For inexperienced speaker – Try to be encouraging, less critical and supportive.
  2. For experienced speakers remember every speaker no matter how experienced Can improve

You can give evaluation for any speaker whether young old senior junior because you are part of the audience and the effectiveness of speech depends on how you receive it.

How you hear see n feel It.

You can mention what you think and can avoid hard coded words like it must be done this way or always do this etc or you should not say the audience or everyone thought or felt etc…as these are your own interpretation of someone’s presentation

Words like I thought, I felt, I wish etc can be part of the Evaluators vocabulary

Don’t just try to judge on the basis of the vocal variety hand movements eye contact stage usage props humour etc..- these are like cherry on the cake and may be someone is giving a presentation for 1st time and you might be expecting too much from him. Same is for Vocab and Grammar. For example the winner of Area contest Jaswinder wasn’t good at language but see how much he made the audience laugh through the logical flow of the words.

You can develop your own evaluation technique tool or form etc..

However there are almost no or few public speaking rules. Pertaining to you should always or never.etc..

I hope this will help you communicating with your friends relatives colleagues supervisors etc..or may be your girlfriend too.

How will you say your girlfriend that her dress is not good.

We can have some healthy questions or discussion please.

# Toastmasters # Evaluate to Motivate #

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