At the last Toastmasters Inverness meeting we held an evaluation competition which was preceded by a very interesting talk on how to evaluate to motivate by John from Perth Toastmasters.
Being able to evaluate is a great skill, not only at Toastmasters but in many workplaces and in our personal lives too. How often do you find yourself giving feedback that is negative? Research shows that negative feedback is around 80% of the feedback given. Toastmasters enables people to practice giving feedback and you even get feedback on how you were at giving feedback! Brilliant :)
Toastmasters is well known for helping people learn public speaking skills but it also has a programme that builds leadership skills and that's where evaluation comes in. People are encouraged to try different ways of recording feedback and try different techniques for giving feedback.
One technique is called the sandwich technique or as I like to call it "Star, wish, star". Feedback starts with something positive, then a learning point/improvement point and finishes with something positive at the end.
Great evaluation was once described as a "gift" and what an apt description that is. Not only does it give some really great encouragement but it also gives something to improve on, something to make us better and that's why many of us go to Toastmasters in the first place isn't it?
Evaluation isn't a summary of the speech, it isn't an opinion on the content of the speech - it's a useful, helpful and positive review of the performance of the speaker that encourages them to keep improving and learning. It's an evaluation that builds motivation.