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Using Body Language

How Mentoring Helps

Creating a powerful introduction to your speech

Evaluating Others

The more effective we are in evaluating each other, the more each one of us will profit from the experience, whether we are delivering a speech, evaluating, or Evaluating Otherssitting in the audience. For as audience members, we learn from the good example an effective evaluation presents. As evaluators, we learn to sharpen our listening and impromptu speaking skills. And as speakers, effective evaluations benefit us by:

    • Providing immediate feedback. Supportive commentary and helpful suggestions reinforce positive speaking behaviors as well as assist in focusing on areas that need work
    • Offering methods for improvement. An evaluator can offer a new perspective. This perspective will allow the presenter to recognize and then solve any difficulties within the presentation.
    • Building and maintaining self-esteem. As the presenter’s speaking improves from speech to speech, more self-esteem will be gained.

How to Evaluate Effectively
Giving an evaluation is an excellent way to demonstrate the skills you are learning as a Toastmaster. The following are five basic points to remember when offering an evaluation:

1. Before the speech.

      • Review and discuss the speech objectives
      • Ask about any concerns regarding the speech or the speaker’s speaking ability.

2. Show that you are interested.

      • Demonstrate that you are truly interested in the speech.
      • Exhibit your interest in the speaker’s ability to grow and improve.

3. Personalize your language.

        Put yourself in the position of the speaker before giving your evaluation.

      • Stay away from words like:
      • “You didn’t….”
      • “You should have…”
      • “You failed to…”

To stimulate improvement, use words like:

      • “I believe…”
      • “My reaction was…”
      • “I suggest that…”

Keep the evaluator’s mantra in mind to maximize your skills:

      • What I saw
      • What I heard
      • What I felt

4. Evaluate the speech – not the person!

      • Always keep your main purpose in mind: To support, help and encourage the speaker.
      • Pay attention to the speaker’s goals for self-improvement.
      • Watch for symptoms of fear or insecurity.
      • Evaluate what the speaker does – not what the speaker is!

5. Promote self-esteem

      • Encourage and inspire the speaker to participate again by giving:
      • Honest and sincere praise.
      • Positive reinforcement when improvements occur.
      • Helpful direction when necessary.
      • Always end your evaluation positively.

Avoid being Disingenuous
An evaluator can give evaluations that only praise the speaker. This may be flattering at first, but over time will demoralize the atmosphere of a club. Honest evaluators can and should be upbeat and encouraging, while still pointing out areas for improvement. Avoid covering up flaws for adulation.
Here are some guidelines:

    • Connect to your opening statement.
    • Summarize your key points.
    • If possible, give a personal story or example.
    • Encourage your listeners to apply what they heard and learned.

How to lead a Successful Workshop

Thirty people attended this highly interactive workshop to learn how to lead a successful workshop on any topic. Working with real-life June 14-Workshop-Derekexamples in a team-based format, participants walked away with:

• An awareness of the principal components of preparing and holding a workshop
• Knowledge of the key elements necessary for your desired outcome
• Tips and techniques to enhance your presentation style

Participants were broken up into groups where they were given a limited amount of time on a particular situation. The topics included:

  • Being a job counselor and helping students find a job during a recession
  • Being a real estate agent and helping people sell their house

All participants were given different sections of the presentation to present to the group. Not only did it teach the team members to be organized but as well it taught them how to use the time effectively to make sure each section of their presentation was covered thoroughly. Every single team had to then present their presentation in front of all the participants and then field questions and have Gilles Robert critique. Everyone in the group found it beneficial and some participants have already mentioned that what they learned they had already applied to training they provided. As once participant mentioned, “The workshop on “How to Lead a Successful Workshop”, presented by Gilles Robert, was a fast paced, high energy, hands on experience. I took away some valuable tips that I can easily apply to my next workshop presentation.”

About Gilles Robert, Workshop Facilitator

Gilles Robert, ACG, CL, is a trainer, author and speaker. As a professional trainer, Gilles has more than eight years’ experience helping clients in Canada and the United States develop their communication and leadership skills. Gilles was invited to speak on leadership at the Toastmasters International 2006 Convention in Washington, D.C., in addition to leading conference workshops and executive officer training within District 60 Toastmasters.

Gilles currently holds the position of Finance Manager for District 60 Toastmasters and also served as the District’s Secretary and Conference Chair.

Time, Treasures and Talent Table Topics

Blossoming Voices Toastmasters hosted Table Topics with a twist. Table Topics is the fun, impromptu speaking portion of our meeting Eryn Photowhen members are invited to deliver a two-minute speech without any preparation. It develops our skill at speaking on our feet and off the cuff. The results are often outrageously funny.

At the meeting, we hosted a spoken auction, as opposed to silent auction, to raise money for the club. Members packaged their time, a treasure or a talent for auction.

Our experienced Toastmaster, Andrew Mertens, served as the auctioneer and invited the participants to deliver a two-minute sales pitch that enticed us to bid on the auction item. The more persuasive the pitch, the more competitive the bids.

We had members bring all sorts of goodies and talents such as movie passes, yoga lessons, a Shabbat dinner for several people, home made cupcakes and even some great books. Our members got into serious bidding action when certain items went above their value as our members wanted to try and experience some unique items that were being offered. In total, the club raised for $890 at the end of the night which will be used for various expenses that the club incurs.

A week later members came with great feedback as to the item’s they purchased. Some had savored the delicious treats they had bid on and others can’t wait to experience the various lessons they bid on. Take a visit to Blossoming Voices and see how a Table Topics sessions is run in person. Click here to find out how you can join.

Here are some other items that went up for auction:

  • A picnic basket with various treats to enjoy outdoors
  • Makeup lessons
  • Running clinic lessons
  • Home made Pesto Sauce
  • Designer sunglasses
  • A portable encyclopedia of wine and food