The Evaluator appraises a speech, giving useful commendations and recommendations.


The main purpose is to help the Speaker improve.

Secondary purposes are to help everyone else in the audience improve, and to further hone your own public speaking skills. Otherwise you might as well just have a private chat with the Speaker afterwards!

Evaluating a Prepared Speech

Before the Prepared Speech

Read the pages of the manual or Pathways project concerning the speech and familiarise yourself with the speech objectives. The manual or evaluation form can be used as a ‘cheat sheet’ for your evaluation.

Ask if the Speaker wants you to look out for anything else in particular.

During the Prepared Speech

Listen carefully. Making too many notes can distract you and is unnecessary; the audience do not want you to repeat or summarise the speech – they have just heard it!

Ensure that you have written down clearly the main points you want to make (or, if you don’t use notes, have them firmly in mind) so that they can be structured into a coherent Evaluation Speech.

Your Evaluation Speech

  • Give commendations. Praise the good aspects of the speech, without adding reservations which cancel it out.
  • Give recommendations. Doing this usefully yet tactfully is the main challenge of an evaluation. In the same way that in a football match it is a foul to go for the player rather than the ball, consider it a foul to go for the speaker rather than the speech.
  • If you cannot think of any recommendations you can put forward alternative approaches for consideration. (This can be a useful device for evaluating an experienced speaker.)
  • Structure commendations at the beginning and end, with recommendations in the middle. This is often referred to as the ‘sandwich’ technique.
  • Be specific. Rather than spouting general platitudes, detail specific elements that were sucessful and specific suggestions for enhancement.
  • All comments should be expressed as your personal opinion (for example, “I think …” or “My view is …”) and not a universal judgement or the voice of God.
  • Without ignoring the speaker, address all the audience. Expressions like “I believe we could all learn from the way in which …” make everyone feel involved.
  • Don’t try to cover too many points. You can meet up with the Speaker afterwards and go into more detail, covering aspects more appropriately addressed only to the Speaker.
  • Above all, bear in mind that everyone feels hurt by naked criticism of their efforts – not just you!


 Introduce the Speaker

  • Good Evening Fellow Toastmasters and most welcome guests and especially Anna.
  • I am so delighted today to evaluate _________________ speech number 2 from ____________________Path – _________________________(project name)

The Objectives of the project are: examples

  • To choose any topic for your first speech.
  • and carefully review the feedback.

Personal Objectives are



  • This is a 5 to 7 minute speech. Green light at 5, Amber at 6 and Red at 7.
  • __________‘s speech is entitled ______________________________________________

So with a speech entitled ______________________________________ please give a very warm welcome to ________________.

Evaluation example

a) Intro -Examples

 Fellow Toastmasters and most welcome guests …..

What a great speech!

What I enjoyed most about this speech was

b) Main Body

3 things that _______________ has done well and we can all learn from:




Suggestions: Examples

  • Engaged us from the start with a rhetorical question / a quotation
  • Used great vocal variety – loud when he wanted to me dramatic and quieter at the more sensitive points
  • Used the power of 3 in the body – easy for her and us as the audience to remember the main points of his speech 

 c) Conclusion

In summary: 

This was fantastic speech and you met your objectives.

Your speaking skills continue to improve and I enjoy listening to your speeches.

Supporting information

Supporting info

Speech Element


Need Improvement


Appropriate language

Simply understood


Letter count/child’s version

Clarity and enunciation

every word clear

Mumbled or unclear

Record, practice with a cork in mouth


Supports Purpose

No connection

Edit to developed, Use 1 of 7 types

Logic, flow, organisation

clear signposted

Confused or not relevant

start with signs and flag intermediate steps


Clear, mellow

Harsh, Nasal

Exercise before speaking


Well projected, vibrant

Flat, inaudible

Record and listen back


varied, full

Monotonous, shrill

Highlight key words in sentence


varied, dramatic

single rate, fast or slow

Choreograph VV until natural


allow thinking


Think like a singer


Good eye contact

 Looking up, down, sideways while thinking or when struggling to “find the right words”. Looking at notes or presentation slides, back of the room for long periods

Practice the speech – do not use many notes. Look at the audience while thinking.


Eye contact evident at critical lines/messages

Eye contact not sustained at critical lines/messages.

Elevate the effectiveness of key lines by making sure you are looking at your audience. Should include opening, closing and critical lines/messages. 


Eyes alive – happiness, sadness, surprise, excitement, confusion

No emotion evident

Emotion matches your words at a given time the impact of your words will be much stronger.


Sustained your eye contact for a few seconds, or about the time it takes to deliver an average-length sentence.

Eyes bounce left and right across the room. gaze is too short or uncomfortably long

Avoid ping-pong instead sustain eye contact with someone for a few seconds, then move on


Connected directly audience eyes

Looked at their bodies, over their heads & etc.

Practice direct eye contact

Speech purpose

Clear and relevant

Confused or not relevant

Make it clear how the audience will benefited what steps they need to take

Audience reaction

enthusiastic, engaged


use questions and image vocabulary to engage

Props/Visual aids

Supportive and easy to see


Check from back of room, check prior with family understanding


Got laughs

jokes mis-fired

Repeat to get timing, sentence structure

Strong word picture

Strong pictures, engaging senses


Use vivid adjectives that describe senses