Speech Evaluator


The Speech Evaluator provides feedback on a prepared speech delivered by a member of the club. The goal of an evaluation is to recognise a Speaker’s achievement whilst offering constructive feedback to help them improve.

This role is a great opportunity to develop effective listening, critical thinking and feedback skills; the skills developed in this role can be easily transferred to other contexts such a providing performance useful and encouraging feedback for team members.



  • Before giving an evaluation, think about evaluations that you have received: What was good (or not!) about them? Consider how you would like to receive feedback and apply that principle to giving feedback to others.
  • Contact the speaker and ask them:
    • which manual they are working from if you haven’t been able to identify it from the online agenda
    • discuss the speech objectives with them – they may seek your ideas and input
      with last minute preparations.
    • note any personal objectives they may have for the speech
  • Consider what a successful speech of this type might look like and what skills it might employ.
  • Early Bird TV is one of our greatest educational assets. It allows you as an evaluator to gain insight into a speaker’s progress and also to what feedback previous evaluators provided to them.
  • You don’t have to have completed the speech to evaluate; if that is the case, you can use this as a preparation for when you deliver the speech.



On the day

Before the meeting

  • Arrive by 6:45 A.M.
  • Chat to the speaker and collect their feedback form (if they are using physical copies).
  • Review the questions in the feedback form – they may help you prepare for your evaluation



During the Meeting

Observing the speech

  • You may want to take notes to make helpful specific references for the speaker. Consider if an evaluation template sheet would help you organise your notes and thinking. There are several available online.
  • Consider what the speaker is doing well and what feedback or tips you could give them that would help them be even better.
  • Think about key learning points from the projects that you have undertaken so far and notice if the speaker does or does not do them i.e. such as speech organisation; right word selection; variety of pace and pitch of delivery; body language, etc.
  • Don’t be overawed if the speaker is “advanced” – ask yourself what more would you have expected if you had paid for that speech?


Delivering your feedback

You will have 3 minutes to deliver your feedback. Here are some ideas for delivering an evaluation:

  • A suggested structure of an evaluation is “C-R-C”: Commendation, Recommendation, Commendation (Something you liked, Something you feel could be improved, and Something ese you liked). The evaluation starts and ends on a positive note with roughly a minute allocated for each section.
  • A useful variation is Commendation, Commendation, Recommendation, Recommendation, Best Commendation. Each at about 30 seconds each, with the remainder of the time split between introducing your evaluation (speech objectives, purpose etc) and concluding your evaluation (summary and closing).
  • Other frameworks you might consider using (that you can still use “C-R-C” within):
    • Saw. Heard. Felt
    • Logos. Ethos. Pathos. This is particularly useful for persuasive speeches
    • Content. Delivery. Structure.
  • For each point you make, try to explain What, When and Why (or How):
    • what you observed,
    • when it occurred during the speech,
    • why it was effective for Commendations, or how it could be improved for Recommendations
  • Deliver feedback in the third person e.g. “I felt that Pauline did this…” rather than “You did this”; or “I felt that you did this”.’ Speaking in the first or second person when giving an evaluation can put the speaker on the defensive. The other reason that the third person is preferable is that you are addressing the whole audience so that it is not just the speaker who learns from the evaluation – everyone does.
  • Always look for a recommendation for every speech. If you can’t think of one – try issuing a challenge. What could they try that you haven’t seen them do before?
  • Avoid speaking for the whole audience “we all thought the topic had great vocal variety”, “we were all moved by the speech” – audiences’ opinions and perceptions vary so some will not think and feel the same way that you do. The Speaker is also freer to accept or reject your suggestions.
  • An evaluation is of the speech and its delivery, not the Speaker’s personal characteristics or if you agree with their viewpoint.
  • Evaluations are just your personal opinion so don’t worry about giving a “wrong” answer – it is not an exam for the evaluator or speaker.
  • Feedback should always be supportive, warm, fair, honest and seek to keep the speaker motivated.


After the Meeting

  • Complete the questions and other feedback requested in the feedback form (this might be a physical feedback form or online).
  • You may want to discuss additional points that you couldn’t address in your evaluation.


More Tips

“Evaluation” by Taz

“Evaluation” by Mindy

“Ten Tips for T’riffic Evaluations” by Neil

“No BS Evaluations” by Mutsuyuki

“Content Based Evaluation Part 1” by Tony

“Content Based Evaluation Part 2” by Tony