Powerful Evaluations Wanted

Powerful Evaluations

Team Post by:  Donna Fountain

The success of the Bureau and its members, depends on the strength of one of  its greatest assets: peer evaluations.  Powerful evaluations are rooted in emotional intelligence, in both the evaluator and evaluatee. Giving and receiving (and more importantly, applying) honest feedback requires maturity.

Why? Because what you see depends on from where are gazing.  Knowing that your vision and what you hear are skewed by your personal filters, beliefs and experiences, requires emotional intelligence and maturity.  That’s what we are striving for here at the Bureau, in order to take every member to the next level of performance through powerful evaluations.


Some of the truths about evaluations:

  1. 10 people can be looking at the same thing and all see something different.
  2. All evaluations are not the same. And an ‘experienced’ evaluation doesn’t necessarily equate to an ‘insightful’ evaluation.
  3. Many evaluations can be extremely subjective. Not that that’s always a bad thing, because that’s how your audience will be coming to your presentation.

Some Tips for Great Evaluations: 

  1. Be aware of your initial reactions to the speech – are they really justified given the Speaker’s objective for the speech, the audience for this speech, and the speakers personal style. Is your reaction a personal reaction? Is the reaction something that can help the speaker in the grand scheme of things?
  2. Use different evaluation methods (as presented at our inaugural Speakers Bureau, located in the Resources section) can help you think differently when reviewing a speech.  One method is the Must Haves – Must Avoids list recommended by Dareen LaCroix and Ed Tate, as presented to Toastmasters. Another is the Heard, Saw, Felt method.
  3. Put your toastmaster experience aside for a minute (yes, put it aside; forget the ah/um counting, the organization), and really look at how a speaker is connecting with the audience and making them feel. If the speaker has that part nailed, then look for things to help them connect more.  If they are not really connecting with the audience – help them achieve that first.  Is it because they are too rehearsed & choreographed, is it because they are not personal enough or coming across as credible – look for the gaps and holes and help them figure that out.

For more on giving great evaluations (for Speakers, and for use in your everyday life), come to the next meeting and see how it’s done, or shoot me a comment / question and I can address it for you in the comment section or in the next post. A powerful evaluation can make all the difference in someone’s efforts to get to the next level – how can you assist a fellow speaker, a subordinate, or a family member?

Leave me a comment or question below, or share your best evaluation practices.


Donna Fountain is a 20+ year expert on people and process management, Donna knows how to motivate people in their personal lives as well as  getting work done in their jobs.  With a laid back, casual style – she tells you straight on what’s facing you and what you need to do. Whether its life, your career, your relationship –  sometimes you need to hear the truth from an unbiased party – delivered with humor, respect, and…Chocolate!  What could be better? Coach Donna will get you through your most pressing issues, helping you excel at work or in life.

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