Several Sundays ago I spent the day at a Toastmasters Speaker Evaluation seminar. Led by Rodney Denno, DTM, the day was both inspirational and educational.
The day started with the four most important words in the EMM Speaker Evaluation Technique, which include Insightful and Actionable. Accurate, relevant feedback based on a more senior speaker’s experience and knowledge can provide insights about a novice speaker’s presentation skills that makes them a better speaker. If the insights lead to actionable advice, the novice is led to a self-improvement plan. Both point to the improvements that many people are looking for when they join Toastmasters.
In the morning, a live speaker gave a short presentation and then break out groups shared their evaluations. From the back of the room I had a hard time hearing the speaker, so most of my evaluation was of his body language and physical form. This included the weakness of standing in one spot and looking from one side of the room to the other and back again repeatedly, as if he was watching a tennis match!
The real treat of the day was the afternoon’s video of one of the Toastmasters International grand champions. Mohamed Ali Shukri is a star speaker, and captivated the attendees. At one point he referred to climate scientists who speak with heavy accents and then show a graph. This hit me because my other blog is VoicesForOurPlanet.com. His critique aligned with what I have recently read from Per Espen Stoknes, and thus I strive to provide a more understandable and relevant view that raises the public awareness of what nonprofit groups are doing for wildlife conservation and humanitarianism.
The hardest part of the day was trying to critique Mohamed. We grappled for straws and came up with what we could!
All in all it was a great day and gave me insights that I can use to improve my public speaking. This is exactly why I joined Declarations for Success Toastmasters.