|Our primary purpose in evaluation is to help another person become a better speaker.
Why do we want to become better speakers?
8 reasons adults want to learn new skills
- Gain knowledge and
- Meet a specific need; for some of us it is part of our job, or possibly we have a special event coming
up we need to speak at
- Gain material rewards; perhaps it's a way to a promotion, a raise or a better
- Earn credit towards recognition; not usually a reason for joining but attaining CTM, ATM, DTM -
we all set goals for ourselves everyday, even small ones
- Gain pleasure; may expect to feel happy and important
- Build self-esteem; feel better about yourself
- Build self confidence; overcome fears and gain confidence
- Win acceptance and esteem from others; may feel that as a better speaker others will regard you
How do we Improve?
- Begin with a behaviour - giving a speech
- Receive feedback - evaluation (how our behaviour appears to others, and
ideas/suggestions for future behaviour)
- Test our behaviour - giving another speech
This is a repetitive cycle that will continue to help us improve.
The ultimate responsibility lies with the speaker. While the evaluator is responsible for providing
feedback, and suggesting areas for improvement, only the speaker can actually make those
improvements. The speaker must decide if the feedback is valid and decide if we will act on it.
As an evaluator, you can't make the speaker change their behaviour. Your function is to provide the
speaker with information they can use for a basis of improvement.
An evaluator has 3 roles:
- Recognize improvement; help to convince/reassure the speaker that they are benefiting and improving
- Reinforcing desire; help the speaker realize that becoming even better is both possible and worthwhile
- facilitate learning by providing methods for improvement
- difference between evaluation and criticism. A critic just identifies strengths and weaknesses. An
evaluator must concentrate on specific methods for improvement.
- not a role taken often, but with some one who truly fears giving a speech this is a key role for the
- to become a good speaker an individual must be comfortable with the idea of speaking before a group
and this can be a huge barrier. For these speakers reducing fear is an immediate
need - far more important than making mechanical improvements. In these cases it is the evaluators job to do whatever
is necessary to get that person back for their next speech.
An evaluator needs tact and sensitivity, as well as honesty.
Club Evaluation Climate
How well does our club evaluate?
How to build a positive club:
- Emphasisze quality evaluations
- Help members become better acquainted; a key to helping a speaker is understanding that person's
needs and goals. Why we joined, benefits we've earned and what we want to accomplish
- Assign evaluators when assigning speakers; when members know in advance who they are
evaluating speakers and evaluators can confer before the speech.
- Encourage dialogue between speakers and evaluators; the speaker and evaluator can take a couple of
minutes after the meeting to discuss the evaluation - clarify misunderstandings, were the
recommendations helpful, how can the evaluator improve
- Evaluate the evaluator; part of the general evaluation. Sometimes when the meeting is running long
and the general evaluation is cut short, the evaluation of the evaluators is often missed or glossed
over however, for everyone to improve it is important that evaluators are evaluated.
- Encourage group evaluations; the more feedback the better. Toastmasters international suggests
periodically scheduling panel or group evaluations
- Emphasize manual speeches; provide step by step methods for skill development and provide
evaluators with specific objectives and guidelines for evaluating.
Self Esteem and Public Speaking
- we all want to please ourselves to feel worthy and successful
- often we are our own worst critics
- Self esteem fuels personal
- Feedback reinforces personal growth
- Personal growth nourishes self esteem
- Increased self esteem promotes growth
To be effective in helping people grow, evaluation must do two things:
- Must point us toward personal growth by showing us where and how we can improve
- Must build our self esteem, making us feel good about what we've accomplished and motivating us to
6 guidelines for building and maintaining self esteem:
- Be genuine
- Recognize strengths
- Recognize improvements
- Create a climate for motivation; help them realize that they can improve more
- Avoid value judgments; concentrate on speakers behaviour not the person
- Provide positive direction; show how they can improve
Toastmasters suggests 3 different evaluation methods.
- 'Tell and Sell'
- 'Tell and Listen
Method selected depends on:
- Your own level of skill and experience
- skill level and experience of speaker
- amount of time available for your evaluation
'Tell and Sell' method
- evaluator talks, speaker listens
- most common - we use it here, evaluator discusses speech and suggests ways the speaker can improve
- Advantage; that it's the least time consuming and is most effective when the evaluator has more
experience (considered an authority figure) than the speaker
- Disadvantage; can put the speaker on the defensive if the speaker feels the evaluation isn't on target
'Tell and Listen' method
- evaluator talks, speaker responds
- feedback on feedback, evaluator offers and appraisal and recommendations and the speaker has a
chance to respond
- Advantages; removes defensive feelings, builds positive relationships and unity, helps the evaluator
- Disadvantages; it takes longer, may increase nervousness with new speakers, can lessen impact of
'Problem solving' method
- evaluator engages speaker in two-way dialogue aimed at leading the
speaker toward making his/her own evaluation
- most difficult and time consuming, but can be very effective
- before the speech ask the speaker what their concerns/areas for improvement are
- after the speech identify the spekaers strengths and areas for improvement by asking non-threatening
questions - Do you feel you met the manual objectives for this speech? Why did you select this
- Build mutual agreement on what improvements the speaker has made, what his/her strengths are and
what are the areas for improvement. Other club members may be invited to contribute.
- Ask the speaker how they feel these problems can be solved - steer the speaker toward selecting actual
methods for improvement
- it takes time
- can be risky with a new speaker who may not know what consitutes good speaking
- because it lets the speaker ultimately decide it can stimulate changes that are different from what the
evaluator may have suggested
Some of these methods could even be combined with the speaker and evaluator having a discussion
after the meeting, which other members are able to join in or also give feedback. Also may be good for
speakers with a lot of experience who feel that they need tougher evaluations.
How to Evaluate Effectively?
- Show that you care
- Suit your evaluation to the speaker
- Learn the speakers objectives
- Listen actively
- Personalize your language
- Give positive reinforcement
- Help the speaker become motivated
- Evaluate the behaviour not the person
- Nourish self esteem
- Show the speaker how to improve
- Communicate your goals
- Help your evaluator prepare
- Prepare diligently
- Empathize with your evaluator
- Help your evaluator improve
- Prepare to change
How can we improve?
Think about what you can do to make your next evaluation more effective?