Before the meeting:
Most speeches will give you an evaluation guide, however, it can be helpful for the speaker if you touch on other points too. Touch base with the person you are evaluating beforehand so you can get the speech objectives from them. Find out what speech they are doing, and what the title is. Find out if they have any specific goals from the speech project, or any points outside of the evaluation guide they want you to look for.
Note on Table Topics Evaluating: Since these are off the cuff, you can touch base with the Table Topics Master before the meeting (or before that section of the meeting) to find out if there is anything you might need to know (ie. they are doing a different format or something similar).
At the meeting:
Get the manual from the speaker so you have the points to watch. Some people prefer not to write directly in the manual or to make notes separately then transfer them to the manual after.
Presenting the evaluation:
You are giving a mini-speech! Remember to have an introduction, body, and conclusion in your evaluation. Try to cover all the points in the manual.
Tips on format: The “sandwich method” is popular (praise, criticism, praise), however some do not like it as much as they feel the placement of the criticism does a rather effective job of negating any praise. A list of “what I liked” and “what I felt so-and-so could do to make this speech even better” may be a more effective way.
Check out this video example of a speech evaluation here (thanks Michael!):
Notes on Table Topics Evaluations:
- You have approximately 1 minute to evaluate each TT participant. If there are common points you want to make for everyone, do them all at once.
- Your job is not to repeat back what the speaker said – don’t reiterate the speech. Comment on the speaker’s body language, presence, speech format, and did he or she answer the question!
Here is a printable template that some may find helpful when evaluating Table Topics:
Table Topics Evaluation Guide
Final tips on Evaluating: Use “I” language and refer to the person you are evaluating in the 3rd person. You’re providing feedback to everyone in the group, and it’s only your opinion!