by Greg Pick DTM, Pathways Coordinator
Do you want to maximize your growth as a speaker and presenter? You can maximize your growth by ensuring the evaluations you receive are effective. The following steps will help you gain the most from your evaluations: inform your evaluator about the project, discuss specific areas you want to improve with your evaluator, and factor the relevance of feedback provided considering how well you prepared.
I send my evaluator a pdf of the project that I am working on 2-3 days before the meeting so that they can read the goal of the project. You can locate and download the project from the Your Evaluation page in each Pathways Project. Alternatively, you can send the evaluation for the project being worked on ahead of time so your evaluator can read the notes to the evaluation, located on the first page.
Another step you can take to maximize the effectiveness of an evaluation relates to giving your evaluator information for specific aspects to review while you deliver your speech. You may want them to focus on your use of gestures, vocal variety, descriptive phrases, effectiveness and clarity of your storytelling, et cetera. The request should relate to things you know you are working to improve and helps focus their attention on areas important to you.
Finally, any evaluation provided reflects the opinion, impact of your speech, and recommendations of an individual. As you consider the recommendations to improve the speech, you should consider the experience of the evaluator and your amount of preparation. Maybe you did not practice the speech enough to present without reading or referencing note cards. For myself, a lack of preparation results in delivering a speech that has little vocal variety (i.e., monotone), limited gestures, and/or failure to deliver a concise message.
In summary, you can maximize the effectiveness of your speech evaluations by providing your evaluator information about the project several days before the speech, informing your evaluator of specific areas to focus on, and factoring in the recommendations while considering your amount of preparation.