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Evaluate to Elevate

Mastering public speaking can easily be compared to scaling a mountain. Can it be done alone? Maybe. Is it more attainable with team? Absolutely!

A group of people with a shared goal and vision can achieve even the most insurmountable tasks. Including one of the largest fears in the world, public speaking.

Toastmasters provides that team. Toastmasters speech evaluations started me on my climb. It was 2012. I decided to jump into a contest with Toastmasters that gave feedback on speeches.

One person called, “The Test Speaker”, gives a speech. Then, after the speech is completed, each speech evaluation contestant is given 5 minutes to organize their thoughts and ideas on paper. After the five minutes is up, your notes are taken away and you are escorted out of the room.

One by one, each contestant is called into the room to evaluate the test speaker while all other contestants remain in a different room. This provides the contestants a level playing field in providing an evaluation for the test speaker.

The test speaker in the process, receives multiple evaluations and the judges determine who provided the best evaluation. This contest changed my life. While going on to win the 2012 District 78 Speech Evaluation Contest in 2012 in Pierre, SD, I discovered how impactful instructional feedback can have in someone‟s life. In the process, I developed a willingness to acquire feedback from others on my speeches.  

This process has built me into a confident and effective speaker and allowed me to realize my goals and why I joined Toastmasters.

Since then I‟ve competed in the Toastmasters Speech Evaluation Contest and earned top District honors winning again in 2013 and 2015.

Someone asked me why I continue to compete after winning these contests multiple times. For me, the reason is simple, and it is the same reason why I continue to stay active in Toastmasters. To help others realize their dreams.To help others realize their dreams.

When you evaluate you elevate! We become stronger speakers and leaders. We accrue ideas we never considered. We expand our mind to possibilities bigger than what we originally thought.

It‟s the help from our team that makes climbing the “speaking mountain” easier, obtainable, and worthwhile. We all come into Toastmasters facing different sized mountains. However, each of us know that, our club members have the experience to navigate the rough terrain. If you‟re ready to climb, we have all the tools to help you get to the top of your mountain.

This article was featured in the 2015 Q2 Newsletter, to see the complete newsletter CLICK HERE.

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