Open Secrets of Evaluation


Most often at Toastmasters / in general, in life, we neglect the art of planning evaluation. This especially happens when we do meeting planning, we plan the speakers, but we do not plan their evaluators. Toastmasters International states that evaluation is the backbone of the organization. This is the deep secret of how clubs grow, attract new members, retain them and eventually improve them. Evaluation brings upon strength, and the courage of giving recommendations without sounding negative. Now question is how do I evaluate without sounding negative? Well read on to see for yourself.

What not to Evaluate

Most often in toastmasters we get involved in the speech so much that we start judging instead of evaluation. Please remember, that we are evaluating and not judging. We don’t evaluate

  • Content – No we don’t validate content
  • Culture/Country
  • Dress/Appearance – No its not a fashion show
  • The cause of why the speech was delivered in a certain way.

What to Evaluate

    • Speech delivery style
    • Objectives of the Speech
      • Tenets of speech
      • Rhetorics
      • Introduction
      • Conclusion
      • Body language
      • Movement with purpose
      • Usage of words in a particular context
      • Voice/Vocal variety

How do you evaluate? The Eval Template

At Toastmasters and our club we use the PIP(Praise – Improvement – Praise) or CRC (Commendation – Recommendation – Commendation) Technique. This gives us a template like a Sandwich, we wrap the recommendation (butter) with 2 slices of commendation (bread). I have already started feeling hungry!

Lets directly jump into the basic template of evaluation, this is a template as suggested by most Toastmasters and some of the district speech champions.

  • Introduction
    • State the Title of the Speech
    • State the name of the speaker.
    • State the objective/objectives of the speech
    • Do you believe that the speaker have met his/her objectives?
  • Body (Commendation)
    • Commendation 1
      • What point you liked about the speech?
      • Why did you like it?
    • Commendation 2
      • repeat as in previous commendation 1 sub points
    • Body (Recommendation)
      • Recommendation Point 1
        • What you think needs improvement in the speech?
        • Why do you think this is required? Like it distracts the audience, like moving the lectern caused a bit of  loss of attention etc.
        • How do you think this can be improved?
      • Recommendation Point 2
        • Cover all the points as in recommendation 1 Body (Commendation) Commendation 3 Points as in first paragraph of commendation section Conclusion Summarise the commendation, recommendation, commendation Congratulate the speaker

What Does this do?

  • Defines a clear structure to evaluate
  • Acts as a guide for all toastmasters experienced/new
  • Prepares you for the competition

What to avoid during evaluations?

  • Personal attacks.
  • Words – I think (instead use I believe.
  • Don’t go into why you think the speaker might have told it in a particular manner, but move into how this can be done better.
  • Recommendations can be tricky and is an art, should be done and thoughtfully.
  • Whitewashing – All praise like “I think it was perfect”, “I didn’t pick up any thing to suggest” – This is lazy language, we all need to improve. Carefully look how this could have been done better.


Evaluation is a gift we give to our fellow toastmasters and through evaluations we grow as leaders, it improves listening skills as well as improve trust and bring motivation in our clubs. This is the open secret of how clubs grow, retain members and eventually becomes a strong magnet which magnetises people and brings in change to attitudes as well.

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