The General Evaluator is the one who conducts the evaluation session of a Toastmasters meeting. The role is divided into 3 parts: introducing the evaluators for the prepared speeches, introducing the role bearers (Timer, Ah Counter, Grammarian) for their respective reports and conducting an overall evaluation of the meeting.
Why is the Role of General Evaluator Important?
Since Toastmasters is a non-profit organization, it runs on people who voluntarily give time to serve the organization in various capacities.
So, there needs to be someone who is responsible to observe a meeting and pick what the club did well (commendations) and what the club can improve upon (recommendations).
This is important for a club to thrive and function according to the guidelines provided by Toastmasters.
While the guidelines might seem very stringent at times, each rule/regulation is there for a reason. These guidelines are one of the main reasons why a massive organization of over 300,000 members sustains itself.
Without someone evaluating each meeting, a club might not know what it did well and more importantly, what it can improve upon.
Being the General Evaluator, you will be able to improve your feedback skills as well as truly contribute to the growth of the club by providing valuable comments and recommendations.
Here’s how you can prepare yourself for the role of General Evaluator:
Before the Speech
Before the meeting, reach out to all the evaluators and ask them for a small introduction. That way, you will have something to say about each evaluator when you call them out on to the stage.
Check with the executive committee to see if there are any special educational sessions or any deviations from the usual meeting format.
This will help you prepare your evaluation better since you will be familiar with the agenda beforehand. When you arrive for the meeting, try and sit at the back of the room so you have a complete view of the venue.
Related article: The Skill of Crafting the Perfect Speech Evaluation
When you’re called upon the stage by the Toastmaster of the Day, start by greeting the audience and introducing yourself and your role. For the benefit of the guests, explain what the role of the General Evaluator is and why it is important.
You may also have to introduce the timer to give out the timing guidelines.
Your script could sound like this:
“Good Morning/ Afternoon Toastmaster of the Day, fellow toastmasters, and my dear guests. I am the general evaluator for today’s meeting. For the benefit of the guests, my role is divided into three parts: one is to introduce the evaluators for the prepared speeches, two is to call upon the TAG team (Timer, Ah Counter, Grammarian) for their respective reports and finally, I shall give my general evaluation of the overall meeting.
Before I call on the first evaluator, may I please call on the Timer to give us the timing guidelines for the evaluation section? (Call upon the assigned Timer for the meeting).
Let’s commence with the evaluations of the prepared speeches. I would like to call on our first evaluator, Lee, who will be evaluating Raj’s speech. When I asked Lee what he thought about evaluations, he told me that evaluations are one of the most important elements of Toastmasters! Please help me welcome, Lee.”
To cut it short, here is what you must include in your script:
-An introduction of the role of General Evaluator and why it is important
-Call on the timer for the timing guidelines
-Introduce the evaluators one after the other with a short introduction
After each of the evaluators are done delivering their respective evaluations, move on to the TAG team (Timer, Ah Counter, Grammarian) report. The script will follow the same process of you calling them on stage with a short intro.
“We are now done with the evaluation round and we shall move on to the reports of the TAG team. To start off, let’s call on the Timer of the day, John, for his report.”
Finally, move on to your general evaluation of the meeting. Remember, to comment on all the role players as well as the meeting conduct as a whole.
Related Articles on Toastmaster roles:
- How to Perform the Role of Timer | Toastmasters
- How To Perform The Role Of Ah Counter | Toastmasters
- How To Perform The Role Of Grammarian | Toastmasters
Here is a checklist for you to keep in mind while evaluating:
Timing: Did the meeting start on time? Are all the sessions being conducted on time as per the agenda? Will the meeting end on time?
Role players: Did everyone explain their roles well?
Meeting Conduct: Were there any issues with the venue? Was it hard to find? Was it easy/difficult to reach the venue? Was it a comfortable location?
Technical: Were there any technical errors? For example, was the mic loud/clear enough, did the projector work fine?
Sergeant at Arms: Was everything prepared in advance? Efficiency on how well the room was set up? How was the break? Did he/she warm up the audience well?
President: How were the opening remarks? Did he/she manage to inspire or motivate the audience?
Toastmaster of the Day: Was the TMOD engaging and entertaining? How was the theme? Did he/she explain (for the benefit of the guests) what a Toastmasters meeting consists of?
Timekeeper: Explanation of cue cards? Importance of timing in public speaking? Were the comments clear and audible?
Speech evaluators: Comment on each evaluator individually and give commendations and recommendations to each of them.
Table Topics Master: Were the topics easy to understand? Were the topics fun and entertaining? Was there a good mix between guests and members?
Grammarian: Did he/she talk about the importance of good grammar in public speaking? Were the comments clear and audible? A comment on the Word of the Day.
Ah counter: Did he/she talk about the importance of avoiding filler words in public speaking? Were the comments clear and audible?
Try and provide at least one compliment and one recommendation to each of the role players.
Recommended Article: How to Best Perform the Role of Table Topics Master in a Toastmasters Meeting?
A General Evaluator has to provide commendations and recommendations. One of the most common ways to deliver that is to use the sandwich method: start off with the positives, move on to the recommendations and end with positives again.
This way, you do not demotivate anyone while providing valuable feedback. Also, as a General Evaluator, you usually have to speak on several different points which might be hard to memorize. That’s okay. You can carry a notebook with you where you write down all the introductions and the comments that you wish to deliver.
When called up on the stage, don’t be afraid to use the notebook. This is not a speech. There’s no need to memorize your evaluation. But keep in mind, even though you do have your notebook with you, don’t just read out from it. Use it as a reference guide. Talk to the audience and refer to it as and when you feel the need to.
Related article: 5 Body Language Tips to Command the Stage
This comes down to your overall public speaking skills. The more you know and apply the tools of powerful communication, the better General Evaluator you will be.
If you’re just starting out with public speaking, I would highly recommend you to check out this course: Acumen Presents: Chris Anderson on Public Speaking on Udemy. The 5 tools of public speaking – connection, narration, explanation, persuasion and revelation – taught here are immensely helpful.
Being the founder of TED Talks, Chris Anderson provides numerous examples of the best TED speakers to give us a very practical way of overcoming stage fear and delivering a speech that people will remember. His course has helped me personally and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking to learn public speaking.