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Featured Role – General Evaluator

The General Evaluator is an evaluator of everything that takes place throughout the meeting.

Before the meeting

Check with the Toastmaster of the meeting to find out how the programme will be conducted and if there are any planned deviations from the usual meeting format.

During the meeting

Take notes on everything that happens or, in your view, should happen. For example, were there unnecessary distractions that could have been avoided? Create a checklist from which you can follow the meeting. Did the meeting and each segment of it, begin and end on time?
You would not normally evaluate the Prepared Speakers or Tables Topics Speakers, as they have already been evaluated, but you may want to add something that the evaluator may have missed or express a different opinion.
Give your General Evaluation of the meeting, using the notes you took as suggested above. Comment on the quality of evaluations. Were they positive, upbeat, helpful? Did they point the way to improvement?
Try to think of something original to say!
In some clubs the General Evaluator is responsible for the Evaluation team, which may consist of the Speech Evaluators and Table Topics Evaluators. This involves the following additional duties:
Before the meeting starts, greet all Evaluators who are present. If an Evaluator is missing, consult with the Vice President Education and arrange for a substitute.
Brief the Evaluators that evaluation is a positive, helping act. Their goal must be to help fellow Toastmasters develop their skills. Emphasize that evaluations should enhance or at least preserve the self-esteem of the speaker.
Ensure the individual Speech Evaluators have the Speaker’s manual and understand the project objectives and how to evaluate them. Suggest they talk to their Speakers to discover any special evaluation requirements.
During the meeting, before the first Evaluation, deliver a brief but thorough talk on the purpose, techniques, and benefits of evaluation – particularly for the benefit of any guests. Evaluation is a positive experience designed to help people overcome weak habits and add power to good ones.