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The Evaluator

When you are the Evaluator…


Sabine Pick, Advanced Communicator Bronze -More than 25 Speeches

Can you imagine having prepared your speech, rehearsed it and after giving it, you get a warm hearted applause? Did everything work out as you thought? Did the audience get your message? You have this feeling that you could have done better, but you just do not know how?

This is what evaluations are for. If I want to grow as a speaker and learn how I can improve I need feedback. This is given by the evaluator and I have had the chance to give a lot of evaluations!

As the evaluator I watch and listen carefully to the presentation. Usually the speaker has certain objectives to meet. They vary and depend on the manual he or she is working on.

During the presentation I watch and listen: did the speech have a good structure? Did he/she have a great opening and good closing? Did I get the message? What about the body language, the eye contact? Was the voice appropriately used? Too fast, too slow? Too high, too monotonous?

I take notes and then give my evaluation verbally and in writing. During the meeting I have at least 2-3 minutes up at the lecturn to give my verbal feedback to the whole audience. Afterwards, I fill out the evaluation sheet of the speaker’s manual/handbook.

My evaluation is my opinion, not more and not less. So I make sure that I phrase my feedback in sentences like “ I believe”, “I heard” etc. and I make sure that I give concrete and precise feedback. For example, if the speaker had restricted body language I will demonstrate what exactly he or she could have done differently.

Giving feedback means finding a good balance between letting the speaker know, what he/she is already good at and how exactly he/she could improve. I try to let the audience know, why and how we can learn from the things that worked really well in the presentation. Equally important is to let the speaker know, in which areas there is room for improvement. And how this could be achieved.

Sometimes people are afraid of giving feedback because they think it means criticism and negative things. Or they think because somebody has given a lot of speeches, they cannot tell him/her what they could do better. I believe, everybody can find at least one thing that he would have liked differently. I believe every speaker is entitled to at least this, how else can we grow as presenters?

As the evaluator I learn a lot for my own speech projects. I am always happy if I get the feedback that my evaluation was helpful, because it means that I helped somebody to improve their public speaking skills!

[warning]Signed up as speech evaluator for the next meeting? Click here to get some hints to give a great evaluation.[/warning]