Become A Good Toastmasters Evaluator

One of my favorite parts for a Toastmasters club is the evaluation – every prepared speech gets an evaluator. That way, as a speaker, you get to learn what to improve; as an evaluator, you get to learn how to give other people feedback in a way that’s constructive and positive.

I didn’t know how to evaluate when I joined Toastmasters. I gave several speeches but I never dared to try giving an evaluation to other speaker. I worried that I could not gather enough points to talk about; I worried that I would be too harsh in my comments. I didn’t know how to evaluate, or what makes an effective evaluation.

After about a year, I joined a seminar in the Toastmasters Leadership Institute (TLI). It was about making effective evaluations. I was sooo happy that I went to that seminar, because it gave me the courage to stand on stage and give other evaluations.

Here are some key points on how to effectively evaluate a Toastmasters speech (and other speeches):

  1. Capture the exact opening and closing sentences.
  2. Capture key points that the speaker used to develop the speech.
  3. Observe how the speaker used speech delivery techniques, such as vocal variety, hand gestures, eye contact and footwalk.
  4. Make notes on what each of these was done well and which needed improvement. Note down how to improve.
  5. When evaluate on stage, pick two or three most outstanding aspects and compliment; pick two or three aspects that can be improved and talk about how to improve. Do not try to squeeze every comment into the evaluation – you only have 3 minutes. There are plenty of opportunities to talk with the speaker offline.
  6. Practice evaluting speaker by taking notes at every speech in your Toastmasters meetings. Your hard work will pay off.


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