Speech Evaluator

Speech Evaluator

Duration: 3 Minutes                                                 Lights: Green 2:00, Amber 2:30, Red 3:00, Buzzer 3:30

The purpose of speech evaluation is to help the speaker improve. The evaluation has two facets:

  • For the Evaluator it is an exercise in logical and analytical examination of the speech.
  • For the speaker it is an insight into how his/her efforts were seen by fellow Club members and how the performance may have been improved.

Before the meeting the speech Evaluator should contact the speaker to see if there is a specific area that he/she wants considered. The speaker may be trying to improve on one specific area and want meaningful feedback on his/her progress to date. The Evaluator should also establish which manual assignment is being presented and familiarise him/herself which the objectives of the assignment. The Evaluator should also read previous evaluations to see what kind of recommendations have been given before. It may be appropriate to commend on the improvement to date.

As starting point the Evaluator can start with three basic questions:

  • what was good about the speech?
  • what can be improved with the speech[1]?
  • how can the speaker improve?

Some points to consider are:

  • Did the speech have a good opening;
  • Was it logically constructed;
  • Was humour used;
  • Were word pictures used;
  • Did the ending tie the rest of the speech together;
  • Was the topic relevant to the audience;
  • Was good eye contact maintained;
  • Was the speaker easily heard and understood;
  • Was the speaker well-prepared?

A good evaluation will commend the speaker on what was done well and recommend some way of improving the presentation so that the speaker may continue to improve. The plan of the evaluation should be:

  • Commend
  • Recommend
  • Commend.

Any speakers may improve in some way, but don’t overwhelm new speakers by giving too much detail at once. Pick only one or two areas in which the speaker may improve and as the experience level of the speaker increases the evaluations should become more detailed. Everyone should be striving to improve a little at a time. Give your opinion as to whether the objectives of the speech assignment were met by the speaker.

Address your comments to the whole audience rather than “pinning down” the speaker. To encourage a speaker it is imperative that the evaluations are constructive. We all want some encouragement.

The speaker should receive a written evaluation in their manual as well as an oral evaluation at the meeting.

Notes:

  • See Appendix 1 for an Evaluation Form (also Elizabeth Wilson’s Evaluation Worksheet)
  • There are also other training manuals and regular workshops that are run to help people become better evaluators.

[1] Be very sensitive on how you say this in the evaluation, use words like: “What would I like to see done differently next time I heard that speech”.

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