By this post’s title, it can be easy to reject the idea of actually being THE BEST evaluator that has ever existed, or is there? I promise you, there is.
I don’t take this lightly, I’ve traveled to many parts of the world and met amazing communicators that were capable of giving incredible evaluations and feedback themselves, but I had the honor to meet the one and only personally.
This person is inarguably the most fluent, expressive, genuine and truthful evaluator that I’ve ever met. Be it a Toastmasters speech evaluation, general meeting evaluation, ah-counter, grammarian, you name it. This person is so incredibly good at it that CAN thrive in any evaluation setting. I’ve witnessed it and believe it or not, so have you.
– “Who is this person you’re talking about?”, You might ask. Well, that person is YOU. Yes, you are the best evaluator there is out there, and whether I know you or not, I am still 100% certain about it.
The fact of the matter is that, while you’re watching a speech presentation, observing a piece of art, movie, musicians, or whatever it is. You have, at least internally, your own perspectives and ideas of how that “thing” made you feel, what you took away from it and what did you like and dislike about what you just saw or heard. The challenge though, is having the courage to put it out there into the wild and let it be; messy, too negative, too positive, too nice or too harsh.
Whatever is true for you, is what it actually is, and that’s a feedback worth giving. Express it truthfully, authentically and leave it up to the receiver to decide what to do with it. It’s not your task to protect and be responsible for the receivers feelings on whether you felt like the speech was “boring” to you, or “the best piece of information you’ve learned today”. It’s all feedback and very valuable. You are the audience and the speaker needs to know about your reality, so they can really improve at a deeper and more significant level.
Have you ever heard or given evaluations that felt too artificial, overly rehearsed or maybe too generic? How helpful was it really?
There is no right or wrong answer when you’re evaluating someone, it’s all about how the speaker made you feel and what caught your attention and what sincerely did not.
Are there structures for evaluating? You bet, and there’s plenty of really helpful resources out there including official ones from Toastmasters International, that can provide you a decent framework for evaluating someone. But the main thing you cannot learn from it is how to speak honestly and authentically from within, while you were listening to someone else.
So, I insist. YOU ARE the best evaluator that has ever existed. Let it all out and watch people around you grow exponentially. It’ll be easier for you and they’ll appreciate you more.