How to be General Evaluator at a Toastmasters meeting

Toastmasters is an organisation where people learn by doing and getting feedback on their performance. A club meeting is comprised of many different activities performed by several people.  The Sergeant-at-Arms calls the meeting to order, introduces the President who then hands over control to the Chairman.

Under the control of the Chairman, the Toastmaster runs the formal speech section of the meeting, the Table Topics Maser runs the impromptu speaking. There are other roles – Laughmaster, Toast, Grammarian, and Timer’s Report.

The General Evaluation is given by an experienced Toastmaster who has done most of the meeting roles and attended enough meetings to see the variety of ways that members have done the roles. There isn’t always a right way to do something, but there are ways and techniques that work well .

When you are assigned to the role of General Evaluator you will need to take notes during the meeting  of the various roles with the exception of the speakers who have already  been evaluated. Later you will present your feedback in the the three minute time slot for the General Evaluator

Avoid trite phrases such as “I enjoyed the meeting”. Your focus is on things that went well, and points for improvement. Use specific examples of things done well and things requiring improvement.

Your evaluation should cover the following roles:

  • Sergeant-at-Arms. Did the meeting start on time? Was the meeting theme well introduced?
  • President’s introduction - was it inspiring, informational and set the tone for the meeting?
  • Chairman – how well did the meeting flow? Were changes to the agenda handled well?
  • Table Topics Master – Was the purpose of Table Topics explained? Were people with no meeting assignments asked to speak ? Were guests asked if they would like to participate? If you have time, you can comment on individual speakers but this will usually take too much time.
  • Toastmaster – How was the preparation? Did it flow well introducing speakers, evaluators and thanking speakers and evaluators? Were the speech objectives, speech title and speakers name given clearly?
  • Speech Evaluators. Don’t comment on the speakers or speaches as they have already been evaluated.  Did the evaluators highlight things done well and give points for improvement?
  • Timer’s Report. Was all the information captured and communicated clearly?
  • Listener Grammarian Comment on the language and grammar discussed.  Were comments made on the word of the day, Umms and Aah counts.

Your role is to educate everyone on what things were done well and to give points for improvement for all the roles. Above all, aim to be encouraging and conclude the meeting on a positive note.

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