Posts Tagged ‘evaluation contest. tips’

Evaluation – contest

Strong evaluators look forward to the Evaluation contest as a way to demonstrate their skill and to showcase what an evaluation can look like.  You bring your best game. You dig deep into your experience and your sense of what a good speech is all about.

You look at what the other evaluators in your club are doing well and you see how you could incorporate that skill into your own repertoire and fit it to your own style.  Just like each speaker has their own style and favorite focus, evaluators have their own style too. One evaluator might always give weight to the theme, another can be counted on to comment on the way the speaker used the stage or podium space.  Ask yourself how thoroughly you look at theme or use of space. Could you become more perceptive in these areas?

You look at what other evaluators are not doing well and you devise ways to improve on that. You see some traps to avoid. (I won’t just re-hash the topic. I won’t follow some red herring thought of my own and lose track of what I’m supposed to be doing.) You see that most evaluators are using notes and you ask yourself “Could I manage to do it without notes?”

Then you listen to the test speaker – someone that you, presumably. don’t know, or at least don’t know well. You have a blank slate here. You have no past history with this speaker – you don’t know his style, whether this is a strong speech for him, whether he likes to be humorous or teach a lesson. You’re going in cold.

Can you feel a connection with this speaker? In what way? How is the speaker helping you make that connection? Has he chosen a topic that has universal appeal or is this a topic that only a mother could love? If it’s an off-beat topic, did he pull you into it anyway?

Your evaluation needs to reflect the speaker and the tone of the speech. If this is clearly an accomplished speaker your evaluation should be polished, crisp and professional. If it is someone who is clearly nervous and somewhat overwhelmed by the role of test speaker your tone can be more easy-going, encouraging, upbeat and perhaps a little more informal.

If it is a technical, detailed speech, reflect that. If it is a no-nonsense direct instructional speech make your evaluation sound much the same way. Match the tone.

Resist the temptation to show off all the things you found wrong with the speech. Increasing the number of tips does not necessarily increase the value of the evaluation.  Pick one or two that are important in your way of thinking and deliver them with humor and a smile. Hard hitting is not attractive and does not build points with the judges.

Have a summation that starts clearly with words such as “…and in conclusion”, ‘..all in all” – words that clearly signal that this is your summary. Make it positive, strong and memorable.


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