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Toastmasters

Speaker to Evaluator
matched by style or by TI
Title?

Gerald Ong ACG, ALB

1st Edition 26 August 2010


2nd Edition 5th September 2010
3rd Edition 24th September 2010
4th Edition 11th October 2010
Authour’s Profile:

Gerald Ong is an adventurous Toastmaster, whom have tried


out many different concepts in the Toastmasters Community
to make every individual thing outside of the norm. Being a
member of Toastmasters for 3 years, he has been enjoying
the friendship of the Toastmasters. He enjoys speaking on a
regular basis in the Australian Toastmasters Scene.
As of today, he has achieved the Toastmasters International
of Advanced Communicator Gold & Advanced Leader
Bronze.
Having moved to Sydney to pursue his Bachelor’s Degree in
Mechanical Engineering at the University of New South
Wales, Sydney, Australia since February 2010, he has gone
into semi- retirement from Toastmasters while maintaining
contact with the Singapore Toastmasters community at
large.
In his free time, he devotes to researching about the
Toastmasters’ issues and many other areas of speaking. His
research areas include contest analysis and Appointment
Holders Analysis to liven the Toastmasters Scene in
Singapore.
This publication is accessible online on his blog:
http://gotoastmastering.blogspot.com

Disclaimer:

This paper represents the author’s personal opinion.


1. Abstract:

This research paper looks at the scenario of matching speakers and


evaluators’ style during chapter meetings, where the meeting agenda is either
done up by the Vice-President (Education) or President of the Toastamsters
Club. It will cover a broad perspective of the issues concerning speakers
doing manual’s projects.

2. Introduction:

Many Vice-Presidents (Education) are being trained at Club Officers’ Training


bi-annually in July and January each year.

In the first half of the year, they educate on the importance as Vice-President
(Education) to the club.

In the second half of the year, they reflect on what they have leant from their
club officers’ role. It focuses on ensuring that they meet the educational goals
as required in the Distinguished Club Program.

The Vice-President (Education)’s role is critical to running a club successfully.


He/she is in charge of arranging the evaluators, speakers and appointment
holders for every chapter meeting.

On top of that, they have to prepare the meeting agenda every week.

We often face problems in matching the right evaluators to the right speakers,
in times of need where there are lack of suitable evaluators.

We will look at the areas concerned carefully where the speakers’ and
evaluators’ styles are very essential in the meeting planning.

3. Purpose:

The key purposes of this paper are to:


• Learn more about the evaluator and speaker roles in the Toastmasters
movement
• To make the Club Officer Role of the Vice-President (Education) more
fulfilling.
• Cover the matching in 2 ways, via TI Title & General Styles of individual
Toastmasters
• Create awareness of better understanding of members’ profile in every
club
4. Role of Vice-President (Education):

As vice president education, you are responsible for providing and maintaining the
positive environment and the programs through which members can learn and grow.
If you do your job well, your club will have satisfied members and will continue to
grow.

The office of Vice President Education is a critical office in a Toastmasters club. The
Toastmasters educational program depends on the vice president education to carry
out the club’s mission.

As vice president education, you are responsible for providing and maintaining the
positive environment and the programs through which members can learn and grow.
If you do your job well, your club will have satisfied members and will continue to
grow. Your efforts also will help the club become a Distinguished Club, which should
be an annual goal.

The manual When You Are the Vice President Education describes the following
standards more fully and explains how to carry them out.

Outside the Club Meeting:

1. Attend district-sponsored club officer training.


2. Plan club meetings, completing schedules and assignments at least three weeks in
advance and confirming each schedule five to seven days before the meeting.
3. Promote participation in the educational program. Get commitment from members
to earn the next level of achievement and track their progress toward these awards.
4. Orientate new members to the Toastmasters program within two meetings after
they join.
5. Assign every new member a mentor.
6. Attend club executive committee meetings and preside when the president is
absent.
7. Attend district council meetings and vote the club’s proxy.
8. Vote at regional and international business meetings.
9. Arrange for a replacement if unable to attend a club or executive committee
meeting.
10. Prepare successor for office.

At the Club Meeting:

• Ask each new member to be a Table Topics participant at the first meeting after
joining. Assign him or her to a meeting role at the third meeting or earlier, and
assign the Ice Breaker manual project at the fourth meeting or sooner.
• Ensure a club member conducts The Successful Club Series programs Evaluate to
Motivate, Moments of Truth, Mentoring and Finding New Members for Your
Club at least once per year.
• Monitor club performance quarterly in cooperation with the club president.
• Initial Speakers’ Project Completion Records and ensure eligible members fill out
their award applications.
• Preside over the meeting when the president is absent.
5. Role of Project Speaker:

Giving prepared speeches is one of the highlights of your contributions at a meeting.


It is where you put in the most effort, receive the most detailed feedback, and where
you reap the most substantial rewards.

The purpose of each speech is given in the manual that you are working from. You
should endeavour to make every speech a manual speech.

When preparing:
1. Consult first the manual, and establish ‘What are the objectives of the speech?’
This is fundamental.
2. Do not be overly concerned with content. You do not need to "wow" the audience
with learned brilliance or scintillating wit. Concentrate on putting together a well
structured speech that you feel confident in delivering. The emphasis is on
delivery, not content.
3. Source material can be from anywhere, perhaps your own experiences or maybe
things you've read, an opinion you have, advice you've been given....
4. If you need special equipment such as an overhead projector or whiteboard,
markers and eraser, advise the Sergeant at Arms and the Toastmaster a few days
in advance.
5. As with all assignments, prepare and rehearse to ensure correct timing. Typically,
an unrehearsed speech will go over time.

Before the meeting begins

1. Discuss with your evaluator any points that you would like him/her to watch out
for, over and above the written objectives for the speech.
2. Advise the Toastmaster of your title, speech number etc, and any special
requirements or introduction you have.

What to do during your assignment

1. Before the speech, take a few deep breaths, and remember to relax! Stand, adjust
your clothing and move to the side ready to walk on at the conclusion of your
introduction.
2. Acknowledge the Toastmaster and audience, then deliver your material.
3. When finished, hand back to the Toastmaster.
4. That is the end of your assignment. You will be evaluated later in the evening.

After the meeting

At the end of the meeting, update the wall charts and have the VPE sign your speech
manual.
6. Role of Project Evaluator:

The purpose of the evaluator is the most important job in Toastmasters. It is


where most value can be gained from participation, for the speaker, the evaluator and
the rest of the audience.

A good evaluation will be firm, fair and friendly, focussing on HELPING the speaker
progress. The main purpose is to make the speaker want to speak again. This is done
by showing WHY certain aspects of the speech were good, and HOW other aspects
can be improved.

The preparation required for the optimum peformance:

Talk with the speaker preferably a few days before the speech. Find out which speech
they are giving, their objectives, and any concerns they may have.

Study the evaluator's guide to the speech you are to evaluate. This is found in the
appropriate Communication and Leadership Manual.

Should the speaker be a last minute apology, then you may find yourself evaluating
someone else. Check the program on arrival to see if this has occurred and make
necessary changes to your preparation.

Draw up a page to help take notes more efficiently. Assemble headings to guide your
thinking. Include space for positives and areas for improvement.

Your assignment starts in earnest the moment the speaker's name is called.

Make precise and concise notes during the speech. For positives, state what was good
and why. Give examples. For points for improvement, state what could be improved
and how to fix it.

Assemble your notes into a speech, focussing on the objectives of the assignment and
whether or not they were met. Use the formula Commend, Recommend, Commend.
Finish with a positive and encouraging summary.

Avoid commenting or adding to the content, unless it is part of the evaluation criteria.
Also, avoid negative sounding words like "fault", "problem", "wrong". Remember at
all times there are no absolutes - the whole evaluation is your opinion which you are
offering.

There are three aspects to your evaluation task. The presentation to the whole meeting
should focus on helping the speaker and the audience learn from the presentation. The
written evaluation in the manual enables you to go into detail on some aspects of the
objectives that perhaps are not appropriate for your talk, noting that the manual should
never be taken to the lectern or made part of your spoken evaluation. Finally, you
should have a one on one discussion with the speaker at the end of the meeting.
7. Speaker-to-Evaluator Matching

We have 2 schools of thought in the matching process.

Match by TI Title

This approach assigns Toastmasters to their evaluator role by their


competency level of their communication & leadership level. In some
exceptional cases where the evaluator is a Division Evaluation Champion or
District Evaluation Champion & already completed his Distinguished
Toastmaster (DTM), this valid match is suitable for all types of speakers
irregardless of TI titles & styles. As this is just a matter of assigning speakers
to the evaluators in accrodance of their competency ranking, this overlooks
both the speaker’s and evaluator’s style, which may not be in favour of both
parties.

Let’s take a look at this case study seen in one Toastmaster Club:

The Vice-President (Education) has 2 advanced speakers, both doing


different manuals. However, one of the evaluators requests to evaluate a
specific manual to his choice. As a result, the highest competent evaluator (i.e
DTM) is often assigned to the other advanced speaker.

We will confirm this in our trials conducted at various clubs in Singapore.

Points to consider about for this case study:


• Have the other advanced speaker aware of the possible insuitablity of his
evaluator, if his evaluator has not done the manual before?
• How far apart are their competencies under TI titles?
• Have the evaluator have experience in evaluating the manual?

Speaker-Evaluator style matching

This appoarch assigns Toastmasters to their evaluator role based on their


individual styles. In some exceptional cases where the evaluator is a Division
Evaluation Champion or District Evaluation Champion & already completed
his/her Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM), this valid match is suitable for all
types of speakers irregardless of TI titles & styles. As this is just a matter of
assigning speakers to the evaluators in accrodance of their competency
ranking, this overlooks both the speaker’s and evaluator’s style, which may
not be in favour of both parties.

The speaker-evaluator’s styles matching are more relevant to the


Toastmasters movement, as every individual is evaluated on their speeches
with a lot of focus. Sometimes, matching their occupations together also
makes the evaluations more interesting.

Points to consider for B:

• Do both speaker and evaluator have the same occupation?


• Do both speaker and evaluator have been academically trained in a similar
fashion? (i.e Engineers to Engineers?)
• Have the evaluator done the manual before or evaluated it before?
• Do both speaker and evaluator have the same style of speaking?
• Have the evaluator been screened thoroughly by the invitator?

Let’s verify the results conducted at various clubs in Singapore

8. Experiments conducted:

These experiments were tested out in Hong Kah North Toastmasters Club &
New Millennium Advanced (now Star Millennium Advanced) Toastmasters
Club through period from September 2009 to January 2010.

8.1 Hong Kah North Toastmasters Club

Experiment 1
The speaker whom is a medical student is matched with an evaluator, whom
is a registered nurse in one of our chapter meeting. Though the evaluation
resulted in overtime, the evaluation was apporiately matched in term of
occupation. However, they have both different speaking styles and they are
also no doubt subject matter experts.

Experiment 2
Another Speaker, whom is an engineer is matched to a technical evaluator for
an informative speech. This was most suitable as the project involves lots of
information. One positive part when you get engineers to evaluate projects,
they can take lots of information more than storytellers. They are able to
comprehend each other easily.

8.2 Star Millennium Advanced Toastmasters Club

When I ran an experiment to allow speakers and evaluators to evaluate each


other, the results were balanced. Many still prefer the one-to-one evaluation.

Let me outline the reasons which could have possibly affected them:
1. Low Attendance
2. Evaluators were barely sufficient to run the meeting.

In this experimental run, the speakers evaluate each other in terms of delivery
skills and the evaluators continue to focus on the objectives of the project.

Though this may be good to balance the varying views of the evaluators, it is
constrained in the matching process.

In a typical one-on-one matching process, speakers and evaluators are


matched until all slots are filled.

In a panel evaluation done at Advanced Speechcraft, we look at speaking


skills and project objectives. This not only balances the evaluation, but also
provides them with many suggestions as they can possibly get.

Though they may be matched by TI titles in some cases here, there is a


possiblity that the speaker may not benefit from the evaluator.
8.3 Discussion of Results:

The experiment conducted at Hong Kah North Toastmasters Club has shown that
effective speaker to evaluator matching is very essential in achieving the high success
and benefits rating.

However, in such situations where no suitable evaluator is found, there must be a


method developed to handle such situations.

In the other experiment ran at Advanced Speechcraft 2010 at Star Millennium


Advanced, it was noted that panel evaluation for specific areas of speeches have to be
done properly and are similar in technique with the Table Topics Evaluation.

The Standard Table Topics Evaluation technique is to use 15 seconds to comment on


1 strength, use another 15 seconds to suggest improvements and use another 15
seconds to sum up the evaluation of the speaker. Hence, this will make the verbal
evaluation very effective. Many speakers don’t know about this technique, when
called for panel evaluation.

Panel evaluation is rarely seen in all Toastmasters Clubs, except during Advanced
Speechcraft and Speechcraft sessions. Though effective for large audiences, they also
benefit the sharing of knowledge with other people.

9. Recommendations

From this research, the following recommendations are suggested to all


Toastmasters Clubs across Singapore:

1. It is advised that the speakers be apporiately matched to their evaluators,


which will result in friutful evaluations and better speakers’ learning
2. Meeting agenda have to be prepared 2-3 weeks prior to each chapter
meeting to facilitate the invitation of evaluators.
3. Evaluators are best to be invited by their own speakers, so as to enable to
meet their personal requirements if any
4. Evaluators have to be aware of the consequences of ‘white-wash’
evaluation to the speakers, should they perform this technique
5. Evaluators need to be thoroughly screened by senior members to get their
opinion of the arrangement.
6. It is very important that VPE remind the project speakers to prepare in
advance for their projects, otherwise it will be a huge wasted effort.
7. If speaker is a trainer or coach, it would be most preferred to have
experiened evaluator
8. In order to facilitate the evaluators’ experience, we have to strike a
balance of what project speakers we assign to them
9. In some cases, Competent Communicators can be trained to give them a
fruitful experience of evaluating advanced project speakers.
10. Though it is recommended to give a gap of 3 projects when they start to
evaluate, evaluators can be trained to evaluate the last project that they
have completed to maximise their learning experience. .
11. Though there is a tendency of matching speakers of the same profession
is not advised (which is a grey area), the evaluation can still be done
through the proper screening of the evaluators
12. Also, it is important that both speakers and evaluator read their project
objectives.

10. Conclusion

From this research study, we are able to understand the importance of the Vice-
President (Education), Project Speakers and evaulators.

Vice-President (Education) and any other Toastmasters whom are inviting fellow
Toastmasters for other clubs must take into the account of their style without any
plain invitation to fill the meeting roles.

Even if situations like this have to take place, an effective matching and balanced
appoarch have to be taken so that we can result in successful speakers.

The essence of the chapter meeting, which is different from a typical office meeting, it
is the evaluators of the meeting; Language Evaluator, General Evaluator, Table
Topics Evaluator & Project Evaluator. Also, the accessory role (i.e. Ah Counter &
Timer) makes the chapter meeting different and they facilitate the success of the
speakers and evaluators.

I hope that all Toastmasters will take this into this planning of each chapter meeting.

References:

Hong Kah North Toastmasters Club Meeting Agendas 2009-2010


New Millennium Advanced Toastmasters Club Meeting Agendas 2007-2010
Braddell Heights Advanced Toastmasters Club Meeting Agendas – 2008-2009
Other Toastmasters Clubs Meeting Agendas within District 80 through May 2007 till
June 2009.
Power Evaluator Handbook, William Lim DTM, page 32 & 33.
Toastmasters International Website
Competent Leader Manaul

Acknoweldgements:
Competent Leader Maunal, Item , Toastmasters International
Effective Evaluation Manual, Item, Toastmasters International
All Toastmasters Clubs in Singapore, District 80 Toastmasters International

Appendix A: Panel Evaluation


Appendix B: Table Topics Evaluation
Appendix A: Panel Evaluation
For a successful panel evaluation to take place, the evaluators have to be aware of the
following factors:

1. Type of Evaluation, i.e. Body Language, Project, Content, Vocal Variety,


General
2. Overall time allocation of speech evaluation.

In order to be successful in panel evaluation, let’s say that you have 3 speakers that
you are evaluating with an allocated time of 15 mins.

2 mins: Introduction
2 mins: One strength for 1st Speaker
2 mins: One improvement for 1st Speaker
2 mins: One strength for 2nd Speaker
2 mins: One improvement for 2nd Speaker
2 mins: One strength for 3rd Speaker
2 mins: One improvement for 3rd Speaker.

You should pretty much end by the 15 minute with a red light/card.

This is the most apporiate method of doing a panel evaluation of 3 speakers.


Appendix B: Table Topics Evaluation
Table Topics Evaluator

At the meeting:

All evaluators are expected to sit at the back of the room. This is to check that they can hear
and see the speaker clearly from the back of the room.

Being Table Topics’ Evaluator is one of the most challenging roles that a member can take on
because, as soon as the Table Topics’ session has ended, the Topics Evaluator is called to the
front to deliver his/her report. Consequently, there is not much room for thought!

However, beforehand, think about evaluations that you have received. What was good
about them (or not!)? How would you like to receive feedback and apply that principle to
giving feedback to others.

Watch and listen to the speakers. What did they do well and what feedback could you give
them that would help them be even better? Best not to be 100% positive or 100% negative
as neither approach is helpful. Make notes on cards or big sheets of paper.

Think about key learning points from the projects that you have undertaken so far and
notice if the speaker does or does not do them ie such as speech organisation; right word
selection; variety of pace and pitch of delivery; body language, etc. As you progress through
the manual, you will then look out for more points when doing evaluations.

When called upon to do so, deliver your report. Speaking to time is a critically important life
skill. It shows that a speaker has respect for an audience. Consequently, whenever delivering
a Table Topics’ Evaluation, look at the time that you are allowed to deliver your report (ie up
to 7 minutes). The trick is to then do the following calculation:

7 minutes x 60 seconds = 420 seconds


420 seconds divided by, say, 10 Table Topics’ speakers = 42 seconds per speaker

Which means that, if using commend-recommend-commend, there is roughly 14 seconds


per speaker to do the following:

14 seconds Commendations
14 seconds Recommendation
14 seconds Commendations

If you follow this rule, you should finish pretty much on the red light.
Feedback should be supportive and warm, fair and honest.

Strive to deliver feedback in the third person. So say something like: ‘I felt that Pauline did
this…’ rather than in the second person as in (a) you did this; or (b) I felt that you did this…’.
The third person is preferable as everyone learns from an evaluation – not just the speaker -
and it softens the blow of receiving feedback.