Evaluating Speeches Tactfully (Part2)

Who Benefits from Evaluations?

1. The Speaker benefits — The evaluation provides a resource for improvement

2. The Audience benefits — They learn from the evaluator’s advice

3. The Evaluator benefits — An evaluator develops as a speaker by analysing the speeches of others

“Evaluations are the fertiliser of our growth and development”

Who Can Evaluate?


Think. Feel. Behave.

•Anyone. Don’t be afraid to start by delivering simple, subjective evaluations we all start there.

•Evaluating is such an educational experience; don’t miss out.

  • it is often refreshing for an experienced speaker to receive feedback from an inexperienced evaluator

The Aims of Evaluations

•To make speakers aware of what they do well

•To suggest areas for improvement in a non-threatening and nurturing manner

•To provide constructive and practical ideas for the speaker’s next speech

•To motivate speakers to improve the next time they speak

  • To give a speaker a reason to celebrate their achievement of speaking publicly

Preparing Evaluation

• Who you are evaluating

• What speech they are delivering

  • How much time you will have to prepare your evaluation

•Find out the title, objective of the speech.

•Read the project / Read the evaluation guide for the project

•Talk with the speaker or leader.

•This is an important yet sometimes neglected step

•Ask the speaker if they have any personal objectives.

  • Are there any things they are challenging themselves with, that they are concerned about, or that they would like specific feedback on?

Listenting and Observing

  • 1.At the beginning, write down the speaker’s name and the speech title.
  • You may only hear these details at the start of the speech.
  • 2.Listen carefully to the speech opening.
  • 3.Write down any first impressions
  • (i.e. Was it a strong beginning? Does the speaker appear nervous?
  • Were you initially impressed and wanted to hear more or did you feel disengaged during parts of the speech? Was there anything that obviously stood out that you could commend or recommend?).
  • Try to identify the main reason for your first impression.
  • 4. Assess the speech structure.
  • By this time, the opening is over, and the speaker is likely to be embarking on the body of their speech. Observe whether it is progressing logically, and whether transitions are clear. If you are able, you could attempt to write down the speech outline as you hear it — is it clear?
  • 5.Assess what the speaker is saying.
  • Listen to the sentences; are they well-constructed and fluent?
  • Listen to the words; does the speaker use language that is easy to understand?
  • Listen to the content; is the speaker making appropriate use of description, imagery, examples, reasoning and logic, or humour to get their message across clearly?
  • 6. Assess their body language.
  • Observe the speaker’s manner of delivery. Are they using eye contact, facial expressions, gesturing, and stagecraft effectively?
  • 7. Assess their vocal variety.
  • How is the speaker using their voice? Is it easy to listen to? Are the pitch, rate, volume, tone and rhythm of their voice appropriate for communicating their message?
  • 8. Sit back and listen to the speech’s conclusion.
  • Did it end strongly? Did you still have the same impressions you began with, or did anything change from your initial expectations during the speech?

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