Table Topics Evaluator
The Table Topics Evaluator has an unenviable task – to listen to 5-7 mini speeches and deliver feedback to all the speakers a few minutes later. As Table Topics Evaluator you’ll want to focus on what you can cover in the time slot, rather than what you can’t.
6-minute evaluation of all Table Topic speakers.
Before the Meeting
Remember that whether you’ve given one speech or one hundred, your feedback/ observations are as valid as anyone else’s – be confident in that.
At the Meeting
- When it comes to the Table Topic slot, pay your full and undivided attention to all the Table Topic speeches;
- Note down whatever stands out to you – think about;
- Pace/speed of delivery (too fast/too slow)
- Vocal variety (varied/appropriate/too little)
- Gestures (varied/appropriate/frantic)
- Stage movement (aimless pacing or carefully planned)
- Eye contact (strong/varied/throughout audience/reading notes)
- Audience engagement (reading from notes/complete focus on audience)
- Audience interaction (no interaction/asking questions/involving volunteers)
- Rhetorical devices
- Use of props or visual aids
- Clarity of voice
- Volume of voice
- After the speeches, spend some time organising your thoughts – there are lots of approaches to delivering feedback, but be sure to balance recommendations with commendations;
- Due to time constraints you won’t have as long as the full speech evaluations – focus on one strong commendation and one helpful recommendation;
- Adjust your approach to the speaker – new speakers will need more encouragement so try focusing on one recommendation, whereas seasoned speakers will appreciate more detailed, analytical areas for improvement;
- After the Timekeepers report and vote for Best Table Topics, you’ll be brought up by the Toastmaster to give your evaluation;
- Speak in third-person “Alex did this very well, Alex could improve on this next time” rather than direct “Alex you did this very well, you could improve on this next time”;
- Be considerate of word choice, tone and delivery – don’t talk about what was good and bad about a speech, for instance, focus on positives – even recommendations should be framed as positives!
- Don’t spend all your time rehashing the content of the speech – try to dig down to analytical feedback rather than superficial quotes from the person’s speech;
- After your evaluation, remember to provide written feedback to the speakers, and note anything you couldn’t quite get to in your full evaluation.