After every prepared speech, the speaker receives an evaluation. After you have presented a few speeches, you will be asked to serve as an evaluator and will evaluate one of the prepared speakers for the meeting.
In addition to your oral evaluation, you will give the speaker a written evaluation using the guide in the manual. The evaluation you present can make the difference between a worthwhile or a wasted speech for your speaker.
The purpose of the evaluation is to help the speaker become less self-conscious and a better speaker. This requires that you be fully aware of the speaker’s skill level, habits, and mannerisms, as well as his or her progress to date.
If the speaker uses a technique or some gesture that receives a good response from the audience, tell the speaker so he or she will be encouraged to use it again.
Prior to the meeting — Review carefully the Effective Speech Evaluation manual which you received in your New Member Kit. Talk with the speaker to find out the manual project he or she will be presenting. Review the goals of the speech and what the speaker hopes to achieve. Find out exactly which skills or techniques the speaker hopes to strengthen through the speech.
Evaluation requires careful preparation if the speaker is to benefit. Study the project objectives as well as the evaluation guide in the manual. Remember, the purpose of evaluation is to help people develop their speaking skills in various situations, including platform presentations, discussions, and meetings. Achievement equals the sum of ability and motivation.
By actively listening and gently offering useful advice, you motivate members to work hard and improve. If the speech is from an advanced manual, rather than the basic Competent Communicator manual, the speaker will have to describe the goals to you.
When you enter the meeting room — Look for the speaker and get his or her manual. Then confer with the speaker one last time to see if he or she has any specific things for you to watch for during the talk.
During the meeting — Record your impressions of the speech in the manual along with your answers to the evaluation questions. Be as objective as possible. Remember that good evaluations may give new life to discouraged members, and poor evaluations may dishearten members who tried their best. Remember, always leave the speaker with specific methods for improving.
When introduced, come to the lectern and give your oral evaluation. Begin and end your evaluation with a note of encouragement or praise. Though you may have written lengthy responses to manual evaluation questions, don’t read the questions or your responses. Your oral evaluation time is limited. Don’t try to cover too much in your talk — possibly one point on organization, one on delivery and one on attainment of purpose with a statement about the greatest asset and a suggestion for future improvement.
Praise a successful speech and specifically tell why it was successful. Don’t allow the speaker to remain unaware of a valuable asset such as a smile, a sense of humor or a good voice. Don’t allow the speaker to remain ignorant of a serious fault or mannerism; if it is personal, write it or discuss it privately, but don’t mention it aloud to the group. Give the speaker the deserved praise and tactful suggestions in the manner you would like to receive them when you are the speaker.
After the meeting — Return the manual to the speaker. Add a verbal word of encouragement to the speaker, something that wasn’t mentioned in the oral evaluation.