In a Toastmasters meeting, the role of General Evaluator can be a unique challenge. In this role, you are responsible for evaluating what has occurred in the meeting. While not necessary, this can be an opportunity to evaluate what happened before the meeting. This includes verification that the Toastmaster confirmed all the functionary roles, and had an open channel of communications to all of the members.
Near the beginning of the meeting, the General Evaluator must make a short speech that discusses purpose and benefits of evaluations. In addition, the General Evaluator must introduce the Speech Evaluators, Ah Counter, Grammarian, and Timer.
While not an easy functionary position, following these steps will help you have a great meeting.
You are the Second In Command of the Toastmasters Meeting
As the Toastmaster is responsible for the overall success of the meeting, you need to keep tabs on the meeting operations. A big portion of this is stepping up when needed and providing assistance and guidance the “operations” team of functionaries. Before the meeting, check in with the evaluators, Ah Counter Grammarian, and Timer. Verify that they understand their importance in the meeting. Also, check in with the Toastmaster. Make sure that you can assist in any way possible.
Watch for Timeliness
Did the meeting start on time? If not, discover why? Did a functionary show up late, was the room not ready?
Now, what about the other sections of the meeting? Did you go under the expected time in some spots, yet over in another section?
Be certain to add this information into your notes.
Is everyone enthusiastic?
People show up to have a great time at the meeting. When the energy and enthusiasm are low it not only affects the current meeting but can impact the following meetings. I’ve seen attendance drop after a meeting didn’t reach the standard energy level.
If the meeting seems off, add this to your notes! Call it out during your evaluation at the end of the meeting. But, don’t just stop there. Ask the members and guests how they would have done it differently next time.
This one action can keep the audience engaged, and not experience a drop in attendance after a low energy meeting.
Did everyone put on their A Game?
It’s easy to see when the functionaries just showed up, or when they put on their war paint and got down to business. To have a successful club, people need to be present, and ready to go all in. As the General Evaluator, you need to keep track of this.
Was the Toastmasters meeting well organized?
Organization of the meeting starts before the meeting. Remember my comment about tracking what occurs before the meeting? Yeah… this is where it can come into hand. If you found that the meeting wasn’t well organized, or something needs improvement, jot it down and mention it during your evaluation.
How did the Toastmaster do?
You are responsible for evaluating the Toastmasters speech along with their ability to run the meeting. You don’t need to dive into details about the speech like a speech evaluator would, but you should mention anything that stood out. One thing I look for is when the Toastmaster adapts to change, distractions, or says someone incredible.
Toward the end of the meeting, you will now provide a verbal evaluation of everything that occurred. This evaluation will be between 2-3 minutes in length. Use your notes, speak from the heart, and set an example for the following meetings.
This role should be filled by someone with experience in Toastmaster. If you are a newly chartered club, don’t be shy about scheduling you club mentor(s) for this role during the first four meetings. This will give you an opportunity to see how the role is performed.
This role is a challenge, and when properly executed it will teach you new skills. The ability to communicate, be presented, listen, and provide feedback are the basics of anyone in a leadership position.