Shoot for the Stars at our Next Meeting

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This Tuesday at Cogito Toastmasters Dublin with a theme of “Shooting For The Stars” we’re going to throw away our new year’s resolutions and instead look at the ambitous goals and personal challenges that we can set for ourselves over the next 12 months

Dermot will be our Toastmaster, we’ll have speeches from Jag,  Victor and Wenhui and as always we’ll have our usual round of fun and challenging table topics.

See you Tuesday!

 

When: 7.30pm, Tuesday 1oth January

Where: The Lantern Centre, 17 Synge St (click here to see a map)

To sign up or see the agenda of the meeting, click here

 

photo: NASA (Flickr)

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Use Your Evaluation To Inspire

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On the surface an evaluation at Toastmasters is about showing a speaker their strengths and suggesting how they can improve further but a great evaluation goes further, a great evaluation will inspire your speaker to become a better communicator. A great evaluation will make them excited about their next speech they’ll start planning it immediately and they’ll be imagining how amazing they’re going to be. This should always be your goal when you give an evaluation.

This is not as difficult as it might sound.

The best place to inject inspiration into your evaluation is in the conclusion, it will have the most impact there. In your conclusion be sure to include the following:

  • Acknowledge – Acknowledge all that the speaker has achieved so far, this shows them that they are already on the path to their goals and they’ve already achieved great things.
  • Believe – Encourage them, show them that you believe that they have the ability to reach their personal speaking goals.
  • Challenge – Challenge them, give them a new target to aim for, keep them striving to be better speakers.

The key to success is your choice of challenge. It could something small like not using notes or controlling a crutch-word or it could be a bigger step like speaking outside the club or taking part in a speech contest. From your preparation you already know what level the speaker is at, you know what their goals and objectives are and you have seen the speech so use this information to select an achievable but challenging task for the speaker.

Make them excited by the new challenge. Show them that you believe that they can achieve it. Inspire them.

 

This post is part of our series of tips to help you become a better evaluator. To learn more about evaluating, check out these posts:

 

image: symphony of love/chattygd (flickr)

Evaluation Tip: Plan and Prepare Your Evaluation

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When you take on the role of being an evaluator at a Toastmasters meeting, your main objective should be to inspire your speaker to become a better communicator.

The key to doing this effectively is preparation.

The more you prepare, the better you will be able to help the speaker improve.

While most toastmasters can give a “good enough” evaluation if they talk to a speaker five minutes before a club meeting, it is when we take the opportunity to put in more preparation time that we find that have the ability to deliver a great evaluation that is tailor-made for our speaker’s goals and needs.

There are 4 steps to perfect preparation:

  1.  Read the project description so that you are clear about the objectives for the speech.  Do this every time. Even if you’ve evaluated the project many times, read the objective again, remember this is not for you but to help you give the best feedback to your speaker.
  1. Contact the speaker. If you can, try to do this about a week before the meeting. Find out more about them and their own personal speaking objectives because we don’t join toastmasters to complete manuals, we join to improve ourselves or to gain confidence. The more you can cater for these personal goals the better you will be able to help the speaker. Here are some sample questions you could ask:

Are there any areas from previous projects that they want to work on?
Do they have any personal objectives for that project?
What are their long term improvement goals?
What type of feedback would they appreciate?

  1. Using the manual objectives and the speaker’s personal objectives, make a checklist of areas to watch out for during the speech.
  1. The day before and also just before the meeting, touch base with the speaker so that you’re up to date with their progress and are aware of any issues that have been overcome or new issues encountered by the speaker.

It is by following these 4 steps that you will be able to craft an evaluation that will focus on the needs of the speaker and give them the best chance to grow as a speaker and communicator.

I know that this sounds like a lot of work for a simple evaluation but let me ask you a question:

If you were the speaker, which would you prefer?

An evaluator who just glances over the project or someone who takes the time to prepare?

 

This post is part of our series of tips to help you become a better evaluator. To learn more about evaluating, check out these posts:

 

Image: Samuel Mann (Flickr)