This page describes the role of the General Evaluator, and how to prepare for a General Evaluation at the end of a Toastmasters meeting.
Role of General Evaluator
The General Evaluator is the last person to speak at a Toastmasters meeting. This page gives tips on what's required from a General Evaluator and how to give an effective meeting evaluation.
The General Evaluator evaluates the conduct of the meeting, including the meeting chairperson and all the evaluators. The General Evaluator usually has 5-10 minutes to give the meeting evaluation, so it's important to be prepared and organised. It may be helpful to consider that, in this role, you are looking at how the meeting achieved the mission of the club.
The General Evaluator has a very important role at Toastmasters, and their role usually begins well before the meeting. The culture of the club may determine exactly how the General Evaluation is conducted, so here are some general tips taken from the Communication and Leadership Manual.
Before the meeting
The General Evaluator should be in contact with the Toastmaster or meeting Chairperson to find out what is planned, and get any instructions.
As soon as the meeting agenda is published, the General Evaluator should check it and make a note of all the evaluations which will be conducted and the evaluator's names. It's a good idea to prepare a template in advance, making a note of the meeting details, and leaving half a page for each evaluation that you will be commenting on, eg Meeting Chairperson, Table Topics Evaluator, Speech Evaluators, President for General Business, and other participants such as Grammarian, Timekeeper etc. Also leave space to write down the names of the meeting awards, such as Best Table Topics, Best Evaluator, Best Speaker, Best Contribution, if those awards are given out at your meeting. You could also decide to evaluate the meeting using a theme, such as Excitement, Enthusiasm, Educational, etc and make your comments along those lines.
During the meeting
As General Evaluator, you should be taking notes on the significant activities of the meeting, using the meeting agenda and your prepared template to assist. Write clearly and concisely, because you will be required to give a "speech on the fly" and there is nothing worse than having a minute's silence while you try to decipher your notes.
The General Evaluator should sit near the back of the room so you can observe the proceedings from a good vantage point.
You are the last speaker before the chairperson closes the meeting. As you comment on each evaluator in turn, you should refer to the quality of the evaluation, the recommendations which were made, and whether you have anything to add. Sometimes you spot things the evaluator missed, and sometimes you may disagree with the evaluator. Keep your comments short and concise, useful and interesting.
After the meeting
You may find there are some points you wish to follow up with the club's President, the meeting chairperson, or specific evaluators arising from the meeting. You should speak to, phone or email those people with your comments as necessary.
Completing a General Evaluation counts towards the following Competent Leadership Award Projects
2 - Critical Thinking
3 - Giving Feedback
5 - Planning and Implementing
7 - Developing Your Facilitation Skills
8 - Motivating People
10 - Team Building
For further information about the role of General Evaluator, look in the Toastmasters Competent Communication Manual, pages 71-73.