Two weeks ago, I hosted a short workshop on how to win an evaluation contest. If you haven’t seen the first workshop, please feel free to take a look here.
Here are some key takeaways of my second workshop:
Why have Toastmasters Evaluation Contests?
- To encourage development of evaluation skills and to recognize the best as encouragement to all.
- To provide an opportunity to learn by observing the more proficient evaluators who have benefited from their Toastmasters training.
How a Toastmasters Evaluation Contest Works?
How to Win Evaluation Contests?
- I first shared what the judges care about: analytical quality, recommendation, technique, and summarization
- Then I shared how to stand out among the crowd:
- Memorize the evaluation
- Maintain eye contact
- Strong stage presence
- Time qualification
- Provide unique insights
How to Evaluate Effectively?
During the speech
- Pay attention
- Take notes (write down key words/golden nudges)
- Observe the audience (facial expression, movements, attention span)
- Empathize (does it relate to you or your loved ones?)
During the evaluation:
- Give specific examples
- Do not summarize the speech
- Do not rewrite the speech
- Do not evaluate the person or their objective
- Share how it affects you
- Use a structural approach
What’s a structural approach?
- Three tips from Aristotle:
- Tell them what you will tell them.
- Tell Them.
- Tell them what you just told them.
- Recommended template:
- Intro + how it relates to me
- Good 1 example + specifics (why + how)
- Good 2 example + specifics
- Improve 1 example + specifics
- Improve 2 example + specifics
- BEST example
- Good 1
- Good 2
- Improve 1
- Improve 2
- Conclusion + what’s the CTA
What to Evaluate
- Highly recommend the modified sandwich method (check out slide 16)
- Here’s a cheat sheet:
- Use “I” statements so it’s more personal
I also went into details about:
- What are the “Don’ts” in an evaluation?
- How to provide specific evaluation?
- How to evaluate “bad” speeches?
- How to evaluate “perfect” speeches?
- How is an evaluation contest similar to and different from an evaluation in a regular club meeting?
- How to practice to win an evaluation contest?
- Go to regular Toastmasters meetings and participate in evaluations regularly.
- 1-2 weeks before the competition
- Buddy Up
- Look up Toastmasters YouTube Videos
- Every day listen to 1-3 speeches
- Time yourself – 5 minutes
- Take notes, memorize, present
- Compare notes with your buddy
Check out the YouTube recording and slides if you are interested in learning more.
If you like what you are seeing, we hope to see you at our next meeting on Wednesday, August 4, 6:45p.m. PT. Theme: Resilience.
Header photo credit: Pexels Free Photos
Byline: Renee Yao, President of Women L.E.A.D. Toastmasters