March 18, 2012

What A Speech Evaluation Contest Teaches The Audience

Promod Sharmaby Promod Sharma, President 2011-2012

We see as we are.

In Toastmasters, we improve our skills by observing others. As you listen to a speaker, you form your own impressions. When you hear the Evaluator, you often get different perspectives. That's valuable.
running track
What if you good listen to different evaluations of the same speaker? In a recent Speech Evaluation Contest, five contestants evaluated the same guest speaker.

For Example

While there was overlap, each Evaluator had different perspectives. They commented on such elements as
  • the importance of pausing
  • the challenges of speaking to a new audience
  • the effective use of hand gestures to show how a cantilever works
  • the size of the props used
  • the intricate design of the content
  • the vocal variety in the delivery
  • the multiple meanings of the title


Do you read movie reviews? If you've seen the film, you might wonder if the reviewers saw the same film. A speech evaluation is like a 2-3 minute movie review.

Ultimately, an evaluation is an opinion and opinions vary. You need not agree to become a better speaker or Evaluator. You just need to listen and watch. It's best if you form your own opinions before the Evaluator speaks. Even if you disagree, you learn by seeing how others interpret the same event.


There's pressure on contestants in a Speech Evaluation Contest, but not for you in the audience. You can silently pretend that you're an Evaluator without competing.

As you build your powers of observation, you'll find yourself using them regularly without noticing. You'll find that even professional speakers can improve.


You'll find more about Promod than you'd ever want to know at He's speaking about trust at Freelancecamp Toronto on March 25, 2012.

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