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More Effective Speech Evaluations In Four Steps

October 17, 2012 fm

[FYI. The designs used in this article are obsolete. They will be updated soon.]

As a professional corporate trainer in the areas of public speaking, persuasive communication and charisma, I’ve moderated thousands of speech evaluations. Combined with the inspiration coming from my Irish Toastmasters friend Mel Kelly, I came up with a standard process to structure your evaluations both at Toastmasters and elsewhere.

This process is an alteration of the Speech Structure Building Method and involves four steps:

  1. Collect content
  2. Select the top aspects
  3. Create a climax structure
  4. Build the Evaluation Structure Building

Preparation

Click and print the speech evaluation template below.

1) Collect content

While a speaker gives a speech use the left side of the speech evaluation template to take notes. Write down everything you like about the speech in the left column “PLUS”. Write down everything the speaker could do even better from your point of view in the right column “PLUSPLUS”.

In my upcoming book PLUSPLUS – Patterns for Better Communication you will learn about more than a hundred aspects to be addressed in the right column. (Read the sample chapter 3.6 Years)

2) Select the top aspects

Once the speaker has finished with his/her talk, you select the top aspects on both sides. What did you like best about the speech? In what areas could the speaker grow most?

I recommend you select the top three to four points on each side. Mark them with a circle.

3) Create a climax structure

Good, better, best – the rhetorical device climax also applies to your selected top aspects on both sides. Go reverse. On the PLUS side, first choose the one aspect you liked best about the speech. This is number 3 (or four if you decide to select four aspects). Then you choose the second best – number 2. The remaining aspect is number 1.

Do the same on the PLUSPLUS side. Now you have created a climax structure.

4) Build the Evaluation Structure Building

In the fourth and last step you build the Evaluation Structure Building. Transfer the selected points to the right side of your speech evaluation template. Add the first words of your opening and your closing – done!

When you give an evaluation at your Toastmasters club, be aware of the time factor. I indicated the maximum time available for each block.

On the PLUS side always tell the speaker why you liked a specific aspect of the speech:

Your visual aids made your content more memorable. I will never forget your fins.

On the PLUSPLUS side always indicate how the speaker can do better:

If you interact with your audience you raise the level of trust. You show that you care for them, you are empathetic. There are three ways to interact with your audience. You could have asked questions, made references to people from the audience or started a one-to-one dialog with someone from your audience.

Never forget to give a summary! In Toastmasters evaluation contests this is a decisive factor. I also reckon you end your evaluation with an uplifting, motivating final comment. You can wrap it into your drainpipe, which connects the closing of your evaluation with its opening.

I look forward to your feedback. In the end that’s what it’s all about.

Comments (11)

  1. Tulia Lopes

    Excellent tips Florian.

    Form printed and will be put in practise next TM meeting.

    I have also forwarded your article to my toastmasters colleagues here in Zurich.

    Cheers,

    T

  2. Shane

    Excellent approach Florian. I´ll circualte to all our club members.

    Shane
    President, Zurich TMs

  3. I was looking for a template and this looks great to me. I am going to use it and will recommend to my club to use it.
    Thanks for posting this great article!

    • fm

      Thanks, Agnieska! Now that I see it, I’ll have to update it to the new branding… 😉 Reshaping a website after 7 years is work. Glad you love it. I use this approach for all my evaluations too. Works 100%!

  4. Bhanu Dabadi

    Hi would like to thank you for putting this stuff in internet, very instrumental ion helping me reorganize me project of HPL that I am working to contribute in making Evaluation more effective in my district/division.

    Appreciate any further guidance in this domain if you have for further sharing.

    my email : bhanudabadi@gmail.com

    Bhanu Dabadi ( membership 343485)
    AD- A2 D41

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