How to Win an Evaluation Contest?

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? 

evaluation, How to Win an Evaluation Contest?

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
    • Smile 
    • 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 
    • Body 
      • Good 1 example + specifics (why + how)
      • Good 2 example + specifics
      • Improve 1 example + specifics 
      • Improve 2 example + specifics 
      • BEST example 
    • Summary 
      • Good 1
      • Good 2
      • Improve 1
      • Improve 2
      • Best 
    • Conclusion + what’s the CTA

What to Evaluate 

  • Highly recommend the modified sandwich method (check out slide 16) 
  • Here’s a cheat sheet: 
evaluation, How to Win an Evaluation Contest?
  • Use “I” statements so it’s more personal 
evaluation, How to Win an Evaluation Contest?

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. 

YouTube video: 


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

evaluation, How to Win an Evaluation Contest?

Header photo credit: Pexels Free Photos

Byline: Renee Yao, President of Women L.E.A.D. Toastmasters

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