Evaluate to Motivate!
Before the Meeting
- Several days before the meeting, review the Effective Evaluation manual.
- Talk with the speaker you’ve been assigned to evaluate and find out which manual project they will present.
- Review the project goals and what the speaker or leader hopes to achieve.
Evaluation requires careful preparation if the speaker is to benefit. Study the project objectives as well as the evaluation guide in the manual. Remember, the purpose of evaluation is to help people develop their speaking or leadership skills in various situations. By actively listening, providing reinforcement for their strengths and gently offering useful advice, you motivate members to work hard and improve. When you show the way to improvement, you’ve opened the door to strengthening their ability.
At the Meeting
- When you arrive at the meeting, speak briefly with the general evaluator to confirm the evaluation session format.
- Retrieve the manual from the speaker and ask one last time if he or she has any specific goals in mind.
- Record your impressions in the manual, along with your answers to the evaluation questions.
- Be as objective as possible. Remember that good evaluations may give new life to discouraged members and poor evaluations may dishearten members who tried their best. Always provide specific methods for improving and present them in a positive manner.
- When you’re giving a verbal evaluation, stand and speak when introduced. Though you may have written lengthy responses to manual evaluation questions, don’t read the questions or your responses. Your verbal evaluation time is limited. Don’t try to cover too much in your talk; two or three points is plenty.
- Begin and end your evaluation with a note of encouragement or praise. Commend a successful speech or leadership assignment and describe specifically how it was successful.
- Don’t allow the speaker or leader to remain unaware of a valuable asset such as a smile or a sense of humor. Likewise, don’t permit the speaker or leader to remain ignorant of a serious fault: if it is personal, write it but don’t mention it aloud. Give the speaker or leader deserved praise and tactful suggestions in the manner you would like to receive them.
After the Meeting
- After the meeting, return the manual to the speaker or leader. Add another word of encouragement and answer any questions the member may have.
By giving feedback, you are personally contributing to your fellow members’ improvement. Preparing and presenting evaluations is also an opportunity for you to practice your listening, critical thinking, feedback and motivation skills. And when the time comes to receive feedback, you’ll have a better understanding of the process.
- Approach each speech with honesty while remaining positive
- Pay attention to the speaker’s goals for self-improvement
- Evaluate what the speaker does and not who the speaker is
- Report what you see, hear and feel as a member speaks
- Delivering an evaluation is an excellent way to practice and demonstrate your speaking skills. Remember these five points:
- Before the speech, review the evaluation guidelines for that particular project and approach the speaker to discuss the objectives for their speech. Address any concerns.
- Personalize your language. Before giving your evaluation, put yourself in the position of the speaker. Use “I” phrases and stay away from phrases like “You didn’t … ,” “You should have … ,” “You failed to ….”
- To encourage improvement, use words like “I believe …,” “My reaction was …,” “I suggest that….”
- Evaluate the speech—not the person! Always keep your main purpose in mind: to support, help and encourage the speaker. Don’t assess personal qualities—only assess actions related to the speech.
- Promote self-esteem. Motivate and inspire the speaker to deliver another speech by giving sincere praise and constructive suggestions on what they can improve. Always end your evaluation with positive feedback.