General Evaluator: How I Evaluate a Toastmasters Meeting (My Script)
This is an article I had written on 23rd August 2012.
Here is my Script which I used for Lagoon Toastmasters Club.
I had typed this down as the meeting progressed and delivered it to the members at the end of the meeting.
Most of the standard General Evaluators comments are very diplomatic & short.
I like making it detailed and specific.
Read it and let me know what you think…
General Evaluator Notes – Part 1
Meeting Number 275 dated 23th August 2012
• 7:30pm: 6 Members & 6 Guests (all invited by Muralee) were in the room.
• 7:45pm: around 24 people were present.
• There were more guests than members for the meeting.
• After the 1st half of the meeting, 4 guests left the meeting.
Sgt-At-Arms Opening Announcements – Bilal
• Bilal took the initiative to give the Opening Remarks
• For his first time, he gave a good presentation.
• He seemed surprised when he was asked to deliver the opening remarks. Being an assistant Sgt-At-Arms, he should be prepared always.
• If the member delivering the Sgt-At-Arms is new, a written script can be used.
Presidential Address by Raham Sitara
• The Theme & the Message was Creative incorporating the Olympic theme in it. She also focused on the Blade Runner – Oscar Pistorius.
• A Grammatical / Pronunciation Errors were present in the Opening Remarks.
• Recommended, write down what you have to deliver & after you deliver, watch the video & write down ‘word-for-word’ what you have delivered.
General Evaluator Notes – Part 2
TMOD’s Opening Remarks by Muraleedharan
• Opening was Energetic & Enthusiastic.
• He had sent around a few emails to the members of the club with regards to the coming meeting without having an advertising flair for it.
• The TMOD was commended on the fact of taking up the role despite a Heavy Job Schedule and a Travel Itinerary which was going to take place in another 12 hours.
• He was praised for his Simplicity, Sincerity and Soft-Hearted Approach which matched the Personality of the Meeting.
• He was applauded for not giving up even though it was not clear if he could handle all the changes and challenges of the meeting
• His greatest achievement was the number of guests he had invited both for the previous meeting as well as the current meeting.
• When wearing a suit, one must check the positioning of the Tie.
• Muralee delivered his opening remarks holding a few papers in his hand which he never referred to. Why hold it when it does not serve any purpose?
• The message was not very clear as he was in a hurry to complete his opening remarks.
• Recommended to use the power of a well placed pause, to Relax and make one presence felt
• Focus on Posture. Learning against the lectern for support shows lack of energy.
• Practice the Art of Introductions. It is very important to Introduce a Speaker in such a Manner, the Audience should be eager to hear him and the Speaker himself should feel he is a Star.
Word of the day by Jose George
• The word of the day was ‘Beatific’
• Jose was asked to focus on the Principles of using a Flip Chart
• Be Lively, Inter-Active, Fresh and Bold
Recommendation with regards to usage of Flip Chart
• The Flip Chart is a Visual Medium & an extension of your communication
• Always Use large CAPITAL Fonts with content written before hand.
• Position the Flip Chart to the audience view / Bring the flip chart forward
• Use color pens if required.
• Have a written script with plenty of examples
• Distribute Notes to the audience.
Was well participated by everyone. The Question asked was ‘Your Favorite Vacation Spot’
General Evaluator Notes – Part 3
The Induction Ceremony Conducted by Rashid TC
• It was conducted in a hurry, hap-hazard and humorously.
• The guests had no idea what the activity was all about.
• It looked more like a gay couple marriage with Rashid as the Priest and the two new Toastmasters repeating ‘I do’ for every point without understanding what was being told.
• Recommended – Explain what the Induction Ceremony is all about, its importance and why is it being done so that both the guests as well as the members know the value of this practice.
General Evaluator Notes – Part 4
Speaker 1 – Ajaybabu
• Well Prepared,
• Clear Script,
• Logical Transition,
• The Speaker started off really tensed. After the Speaker reached 25% of his speech, he began to relax.
• When the Speaker began to speak about his daughters, he had a smile, which in turn made the audience members also smile and hence connect to him.
• It is okay to be nervous.
• Do not pressure yourself to do a Perfect Job.
• Enjoy the Process & Journey of Speaking.
Speaker 2 – Sudhakaran
• Very Intelligently placed Attention Grabbing Opening
• The central theme of the speech was about Savings.
• The Presentation was Interesting & Original
• The Speaker not being born and brought up in English, clearly showed amazing improvement in his communication. That itself made him a Champion.
• It was very evident hard work had gone into his speech.
• Great usage of Facial Expressiveness
• There was Sincerity throughout his speech.
• By far one of the best performances of Sudhakaran I have seen to date.
• The Speaker didn’t need to hold a paper in his hand for security.
• The solution to forgetting lines, it was recommended to use Cue Cards
• There was a strong suggestion to focus on his grammar. For instance, “when they die” and not “when they dies”; “what I want to say to the salaried people” and not “what I want to say to the salary peoples”
• Strong work is required in the area where there is confusion of tenses.
• There should be focus on Fluidity, Posture, to Smile & Relax.
• Pronunciation of words like Rat Race not Rate Race.
• When the Speaker completed his delivery, he ended with an abrupt ‘thanks’ and you didn’t even look at the TMOD or acknowledge the audiences applause. He just ran off. It was suggested to the speaker to stay here, look at the TMOD, smile, hand over and then move on to show that he does enjoy the process of speaking.
Speaker 3 – Balan Vijaykumar
• The Speaker was informed in advance that there was no need for the GE to shower him with what he did well as he was already an accomplished speaker and the focus should be more towards where he can improve.
• The Project main highlight was to deliver in a fashion typical of Politicians, Leadership Executives and Corporate Commodores
• The Speaker started off with a question to invite participation.
• It was suggested to ensure that the Positioning of the Lectern should have been in the center.
• The Speaker needs to work on the Pronunciation of words, Speaking from the diaphragm, articulation of names, jargons & terms with ease & clarity, stamina breathing, forced fluidity,
• Enthusiasm, Energy & the sense of Intrigue needs to be incorporated even more.
• There were too many unwanted and unwarranted pauses in his speech.
• Though the manual stated having the content in a conversation note, it didn’t come out in that manner.
• By the time the Speaker moved into stating statistics – there was a change in energy of the room. Members of the audience started looking at one another and getting restless. The Speaker should have a heightened sense of awareness & adjust his delivery accordingly.
• Terminologies of Yogic stances mixed with Medical though simple terms along with statistics, kind of moved over the head of the audience members.
• It was suggested to the speaker that when giving a scripted talk, it is very important to state the objective of the talk outright. The Speaker would also need to break down the talk into phases – allowing the audience to know what they can expect from your talk.
• When sharing the biological states / terms (depression & human emotional traits), it could have been more simpler & connective layman’s terms.
• Was recommended also to refer Seth Godin’s principles of Presentation – Seth Godin is the Vice President of Yahoo Inc.
• The word Consecutive seems to be a challenge for the speaker.
• This project revealed a major Achilles heel for the Speaker and is an excellent avenue to work on improving his weak areas.
General Evaluator Notes – Part 5
Table Topics by Sunita Nair
• Sunita Nair came up without having the total control of the audience.
• The TMOD could have taken steps to ensure people were inside the room.
• It started off in a low key manner where the anticipation for the event was missing.
• The approach adopted by Sunita Nair was pretty Novel & Creative, which was different for different speakers.
Topic: Many people are so poor because the only thing they have is money.
Attempted by Rafi
• The Speaker used the structure to repeat the topic before attacking the subject.
• He handled the topic well.
• Was asked by the Speaker to be aware of his regular crutch words “100%”, Starting the sentence with “It is Just” and “I can tell you”
• The Speaker has a dominant left hand with the ‘holding a fly in hand’ gesture which is normally repeated in every speech.
• The Speaker was challenged not to fall into the trap of sounding like an oratorical approach. Though the speaker had the best of intentions in heart and delivery, the ‘Let me advice you’ approach may not always work.
• Follow Bill Gove’s approach – Make a point, tell a story.
Topic: The Speaker was asked to Smell something in a box and speak about it
Attempted by Prabhakar
• The Speaker too a Good Conversational approach to the topic.
• He spoke without inhibitions for the time alloted
• The Speaker tends to have a ‘dance’ stance where his Hands & Legs are not in sync with his message & content
• The Speaker was asked to focus being creative and giving himself the permission not to be perfect.
Topic: If you were go to on a holiday, would you go with your family or friends.
Attempted by Bilal
• The Speaker had a Great Conversational style.
• The Audience connected with the speaker at many levels. When the Speaker stated ‘When parents are not there, we can do a lot of stuff together’, ‘when the money gets over friends also get over’, ‘I learnt a good lesson after borrowing money from a friend’ brought about laughter from the audience members.
• The Topic was well attempted, dissected and presented.
The Speaker was challenged to do the following
1) Give a personal story
2) Have a moral for the story (point of wisdom)
3) End with grace
4) Avoid the sheepish grin
5) Avoid the hand in the pocket
6) Fake it till you make it – Show Confidence
7) Believe in yourself as he is a good speaker
Topic: You are a Travel Agent. Sell UAE as a Tourist Destination for the Summer
Attempted by Rajive (Guest)
• The Guest came there and spoke for 20 seconds.
• It was suggested for him to grab on to Stage Time – More the time accepted, better he would become.
• It was communicated to him that the topic challenged him to take the role of being a salesman and use the following approach
1) Identify your target audience.
2) Focus on the benefits.
3) Get creative.
4) Focus on a Great Irresistible Close
5) The Speaker was asked not to put himself down in front of audiences by starting on an apologetic note ‘ You know how bad a Speaker I am’ as the fact is simply this – We do not know how bad a Speaker you are, rather we know how good a Speaker you can be.
Topic: The Speaker was asked to feel an object in a bag and then describe it to the audience.
Attempted by Bandula (Guest)
• The Speaker adopted a great approach of connecting everything back to his home country – Srilanka.
• There was a great deal of appreciation shown towards his conversational style.
• He was made aware that too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Repeatedly using reference to only one example (in this case Srilanka always) can something make the audience lose interest in the freshness of the analogy.
• It was also communicated to the speaker that he kept using the same metaphor ‘As you know Srilanka is the Pearl of the Indian Ocean’ – which he did so around 4 times throughout the meeting.
General Evaluator Notes – Part 6
Evaluation of Speaker Number 1 by Naveen Sadwani
• The Speaker provided a good encouraging format.
• He picked up on specifics that were great.
• He was commended for the fact that he didn’t leave the lectern until he was able to hand back the Power of the Platform to the next speaker.
• The Evaluator was asked to focus more on his voice, his posture & gestures.
• He was asked to have a more kind and friendly approach – especially when evaluating a Project 1.
• It was strongly suggested to avoid using negative descriptive words for instance ‘You came across Flat’ could be replaced with ‘I strongly believe you as a Speaker have immense potential who can amaze us with more variety’
• Focus on lifting the speaker up and always end especially with a high note.
Evaluation of Speaker Number 2 by Mohammed Rafi
• The Speaker adopted the approach of being critical.
• The Evaluator addressed his Speaker by stating 12 points of areas to improve and only 2 points which were highlighted as achievements.
• When the Speaker was introduced in a manner of praise, the Speaker dismissed the praise in the start of his Speech. It was suggested for him always accept Praise with graciousness in front of audiences, as when dismissed (especially in front of non-toastmaster crowd or those who do not know him), it would create confusion in the minds of the audience on the validity or credibility being stated of the Speaker.
• He was reminded that Being humble is beautiful. Being too humble is not.
• The Evaluator stated that the introduction was too lengthy. (Point of Wisdom: There is no such thing as lengthy introduction. My 2004 DTAC winning speech had my introduction of 2 minutes 4 seconds.)
• There wasn’t a particular structure adopted by the Evaluator. The points were delivered in a random fashion.
• The Evaluator was also asked to raise the Speaker to encouragement and to a standard where he feels the need to want to come and speak again.
• The standard format of giving too many suggestions (bashing up the speaker) and when the red-light is seen to cap it off with the standard cliché ‘Overall you achieved the objectives. All in all a great Speech’ should be avoided as it is being overused by too many Evaluators.
Evaluation of Speaker Number 3 by Rajesh Ved
• The Evaluator adopted the Praise, Patronize & Punctuate the Speaker Approach.
• He used a lot of generic words without pin-pointing on the specifics.
• The Evaluator was asked to break down the evaluation into specifics.
• Avoid patronizing the Speaker with phrases such as ‘You are Perfect’, ‘You are a Great Speaker’, ‘You are a Master’
• Pronunciation of certain words like ‘Analysis’ has to be worked on
• The Speaker generally has had a habit of playing & figiting with his reading glasses.
• Need to focus more on the semantics & structure of the delivery rather focusing the content of the speech.
• The Evaluator was challenged to focus on brevity, clarity and say only what is important.
General Evaluator Notes – Part 7
Joke Master Role was attempted by Prabhakar
He was commended on being one of the Best Joke Masters of the club.
His Pronunciation (the friendly Chennai based style), Pause & Punch-line were simply superb and entertaining (reminiscent of Nagrajan)
Grammarian’s Role attempted by Raham Sitara
She gave just a one line suggestion and capped off her role.
She was told not to focus on too many things in a single meeting. She also looked very tired, lethargic and over-worked.
General Evaluator Notes – Part 8
Overall Suggestions to the club
• The Sgt-At-Arms didn’t do their job of ensuring the meeting was in order. It was told to them that must ensure their role is executed to perfection and to coordinate with the TMOD and President to double check on what they are supposed to do.
• The overall meeting was a Very Low Energy Meeting which is why 4 guests left after the break.
• A few of our member pronounce the word Guests as “Gust”, word ending with ‘ed’ were pronounced very hard as in ‘ADDA’, ‘Thought’ was pronounced as ‘ThaUWat’
• It is paramount to Identify and Simplify the Toastmaster Rituals to the guests in the audience as many of the guests were confused what was going on.
• TMOD – When calling out P1 Speaker, said, “Let me call Ajay Babu…and then there was a Pause Break”. There must be importance given to the Art of Introductions and every speaker must be Introduced with the Equal Number of Words. Care should be taken not to over-glorify any speaker over another.
• Having the cell phone on the waist belt, pockets filled up with cards, pens & papers may look stylish but actually proves to be a negative for a speaker.
• While handing over the podium to the TMOD with ‘Over to you’, It is recommended to look at the direction of the TMOD and not the opposite direction or point to one direction and then look around to see where he is present.
• Practice should be made with regards to Handing over the Power of the Platform and Shaking hands properly, acknowledging and then moving over, instead of just walking off.
• The tendency of the Speaker to stand next to the lectern on one foot, while the body weight in placed on the lectern should be avoided.
• Dependence on a single member for important functions of the meeting must be avoided. The Online Video was not in function today as it clearly showed dependence on Ravoof & lack of Leadership Initiative to find a replacement for that role or to delegate the role to someone else.
• Too much dependence is being placed on one single member – Raham Sitara. Currently, due to Ramadan, she has been fasting for the whole day, praying all the way to 3am, and then after having to cook for the family, juggle all areas which made her sleep for only 3 hours at times. Along with all that she was also the only excom member who was active. She was asked to put her foot down and avoid being taken for a ride. It was clearly stated that a lot of members only talk about support or send emails about support without any action to support the club.
• The habit of not coming when there is no role should be discouraged. Even worse, there were quite a number of members who had dropped out at the last minute which shows lack of dedication and commitment.