by Wayne D. Lewis
One potential question an evaluator can ask before providing feedback to a speaker is “May I evaluate your speech (name of speaker)?” This question can set a positive tone for the feedback exchange.
It is this one question that has, as its merit, the ability to set the stage for a positive flow of feedback between two key players on the day’s agenda.
The evaluator’s role is not to automatically begin any tried-and-true evaluation methods, but to impress upon the speaker that it is an honor and privilege to provide 2-3 minutes of substantive and constructive feedback on the speaker’s delivery, content, strengths, areas for improvement, and takeaways.
What is the benefit to the speaker? Regardless of the speaker’s level of accomplishment, there is an undeniable expectation of appreciation for their efforts to present a great speech. Remember, not all are at the same level of progress or success in their journey, so the evaluator is the best representation of Toastmasters by inspiring each speaker to improve at every opportunity.
What is the benefit to the evaluator? Having permission to provide feedback to the speaker, the evaluator is indeed honored to share their opinion on the nature of the presentation. By providing feedback, the evaluator practices various important skills they have developed as a Toastmaster to include eye contact, extemporaneous speaking, time management, listening skills, and even humor can be applied.
Although not an exhaustive list of skills, they can be utilized during the 2-3 minutes of providing constructive feedback as a privilege.
A sincerely worded closing would be to the effect:
“On behalf of our club and our guests, it has been a tremendous honor to evaluate your presentation. We look forward to your next presentation with much anticipation!”