TIMING: 2 minutes
EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS: Effective Speech Evaluation Booklet

* If you are evaluating a long manual speech, discuss with the speaker and Chairman if you need extra time to give an effective evaluation.


To help the speaker improve his public speaking skills by providing useful, honest, helpful feedback for the speaker and the meeting.


Contact the speaker a few days before the meeting to discuss his assignment. Ask if there are any particular areas the speaker would like you to pay close attention to.

If you have the same speech manual, read and familiarise yourself with the objectives of the assignment.


Early in the night, obtain the speaker’s manual and read previous evaluations. In this way you will be able to pay special attention to areas which were previously suggested for improvement. Always keep in mind the aim of the manual speech.


While each has his own ideas on how this should be done, and different speeches and speakers may call for different techniques, an evaluation should proceed on these lines:


 Show the speaker that you listened to and appreciated his presentation. This will create a sound bond between speaker and evaluator. Be generous with your praise.
 Identify Weak Points – What Can Be Improved

Discuss any negative reactions you may have had to the presentation and suggest ways the speaker can improve on these areas.

  Finish on a positive, encouraging note by restating the strengths of the speaker.



Refer to the Table Topics Evaluation sheet for basic guidelines. Select three or four areas for praise and one or two areas for improvement which you feel are the main strengths and weakness of the speaker.

Voice  Volume too little or too loud? Tone too shrill or pleasantly pitched? Uninteresting monotone or change of tone used to highlight material and arouse interest? Diction – words slurred, run together, could words be heard clearly.
Appearance/Manner  Confident, organised, appearance, enthusiasm, apologetic, sincere, nervous.
Speech Content  Appropriate, logical, interesting, enough material or too much, analytical, quality and impact of introduction and conclusion.
Structure  Look for an opening, body and conclusion; are the ideas of reasoning well presented?
Gestures Inappropriate, forced, absent, natural, relaxed, eye contact, added impact
Effectiveness Did the speaker achieve what he set out to do? Did he achieve the objectives of the assignment? Did he maintain interest? Was the speech well received?

Did the speaker use visual aids, were they clear?


Whatever points you choose to praise or comment on, the following should be borne in mind if your evaluation is to be useful.

Identify strengths and weakness as above
Analyse why this aspect of the presentation affected you as it did; for example: “Jane’s concern for preserving endangered birds certainly came through in her speech”.
How Give positive suggestions on how to improve e.g. “The presentation would have more impact if Bob could arrange his visual aids so that he did not need to turn his back on the audience”. Or, “I feel I would have appreciated Jane’s point more if she had given specific data on the number and type of endangered birds that are taken out of the country”.

When you are called upon to give your evaluation by the Toastmaster:

Proceed to the lectern

  • Acknowledge the Toastmaster, “Mr/Madam Toastmaster, Ladies and Gentlemen”
  • Deliver your evaluation, keep it brief and to the point.
  • At the end of the assignment, acknowledge the Toastmaster and return to your seat.


Each manual speech has objectives – make sure you emphasise these in your evaluation and whether or not the speaker has achieved the speech objectives.

Complete the written evaluation for the speaker in the manual and discuss the evaluation with the speaker at the end of the meeting.

Evaluate in the third person, so that all the audience is included, not just the speaker.

Be just, kind and generous in your praise – but don’t give a worthless whitewash. Remember your aim is to assist the speaker, not to dazzle the audience with your word power.

Don’t waste time repeating the title of the speech or explaining what the speech was about – evaluation requires analysis of the speech, not description of the content.