Sunday, December 30, 2012

Table Topics Evaluation Tips


Table Topics Evaluations helps the Table Topics Speaker to understand his strengths and areas for improvements. There are times when you would feel "I would rather have been a Table Topics Speaker instead of a Table Topics Evaluator". This article provides you some tips to effectively perform your Table Topics Evaluator role.

Also read:

Handling Table Topics - 6 ways of getting the initial thinking time
Speech Evaluations - Right & Wrong usages

What are some common mistakes done by a Table Topics Evaluator? Here are certain things that I've observed.
  • Spends too much time in setting the stage for the Table Topics Evaluation or in appreciating the Table Topics Master
  • Spends more than a minute for the first Table Topics Speaker
  • Not following a uniform structure for the evaluation of all Table Topics speakers
  • Trying to point out 'too many strengths' or 'too many areas of improvements' for a speaker
  • Not giving any feedback for improvement for some Table Topics speakers. (Note: The mantra of Toastmasters is 'Any speech can be improved')
A Table Topics Evaluator gets about 30 seconds to evaluate each Table Topics speaker. So, what can you do in the 30 seconds that you are given to evaluate a Table Topics speaker?

Here is a set of guidelines that you can use to evaluate Table Topics speeches. You can apply the criteria given below when you take your evaluation notes. When you go to the stage to share the feedback, pick the top 1 or 2 items.
  1. Was the speech organized / structured (i.e., clear introduction, body and conclusion)?
  2. Content – Was the speech relevant to the Topic? Do not expect new toastmasters to adhere to the speech topic. Encourage them to talk even if they can’t talk about the topic.
  3. Did the speaker speak against the speech topic? (Normally, everyone speaks for the topic. When somebody speaks against the topic and makes it interesting too, you can mention that)
  4. Were there any references or quotes? Was there a story? Were there rhetorics?
  5. Was the speaker nervous?
  6. How quickly was the speaker able to assimilate his/her thoughts and speak?
  7. Delivery – Did the speaker use Vocal Variety? Eye Contact? Gesture? Stage Usage? 
  8. Did the speaker speak for less than a minute? (Encourage speakers to talk for the full 2 minutes. Appreciate new toastmasters when they try to talk for the full 2 minutes)
  9. Did the speaker show any improvements when compared to the previous TT speeches that he/she delivered in the club? (mention only if you see an improvement)
Also read:


For each speaker, you can point out 1 or 2 nice things about the speech and 1 area for improvement. This will help you in staying within the time. Pick the ones that are 'very important' to mention on the stage. You can share the rest of your observations with the speaker, offline.

Table Topics Evaluator does a crucial job of encouraging, educating and evaluating the Table Topics speakers. Hope this article provided you some tips to do your job as a Table Topics Evaluator, better. 
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