Evaluation in Toastmasters

To evaluate is to appreciate the value of what you have seen, heard, or felt from the speech delivered before you.

I used the word appreciate. Because whatever appreciates increases in value. And that’s what happens in many Toastmasters meetings. We try our best to find the good in people.

Toastmasters have the knack for selling the positives. There is always a gem in every presentation. Speeches reveal the gifts of speakers. We celebrate the strengths, talents, and aspirations of speakers.

By focusing on the positives, each speaker gets more opportunities to cultivate his or her uniqueness.

This is why I emphasize the importance of choosing the right Toastmasters club for you. There is no teacher in Toastmasters. The closest thing to a teacher is the evaluation you get and the evaluation given to others.

Anyhoo.

I want to talk about the kind of evaluation that even veteran Toastmasters do not maximize the use of. Even if you are not going to join Toastmasters, you can still make the use of this advice. Whatever you will read today, I encourage you to apply.

That evaluation is self-evaluation. Find the value in you.

I regard a speech as rehearsals to the next. I can learn something from every speech I delivered that can help me towards my greatest speech ever. My first audience and my first evaluator is my self. Feedback from someone else may help me grow but it is my feedback to myself that is always available.

Speaking is gift-giving. During my presentation, I offer gifts to my audience delivered with passion and enthusiasm. I know when I am connecting with my audience. I can see the sparkle in their eyes.

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The real beauty is when they accept my gifts. I can feel passion and enthusiasm spreading around the room. An evaluator often missed this. She is too busy thinking about what to say during her time on stage. But I see and feel the connection because it is one of my intentions.

Speaking is transformational. It is not transactional. It is not mechanical. I know of many speakers who give more attention to the mechanics of speaking. They deliver a speech as if it is a product or a commodity that is transferred from one person to another. This kind of thinking delays growth. By focusing on the external, the intrinsic value of the experience becomes invisible.

To speak is to persuade, to influence, and to compel. To speak is to change lives. When you deliver a speech, it won’t leave you. It can only change you as your message moves from one person to another.

The best evaluation, therefore, is self-evaluation. Be aware of the changes that will happen to you every time you have an opportunity to speak. Appreciate the value of what you are doing. Do this and you can make public speaking increase the value of your offer a hundred-fold.

You will know that you are transforming as a speaker when you pay attention to mindset growth and behavioral changes. The way you speak is influenced by your thinking about yourself and your audience. In my future posts, I will talk more about your audience. For now, you can read this and this.

Once again, be aware of how public speaking is changing you.

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Jef Menguin

P.S. You can develop impromptu speaking skills in Toastmasters. But if you want something for your organization, you can contact me. I have been helping managers deliver excellent business presentations. I can help you too.

P.P.S. Toastmasters International revised its educational program. There are 11 Pathways new members may choose. I will talk about how I use Pathways to build my speaking skills in my 8th post. To learn more about Pathways, go here.

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