Phobias: Don’t be afraid to Feed-Forward

Posted on

46 Attendees
Phobias! What have you got to be afraid of? Our meeting was certainly no place for Agoraphobics. The “crowd” of enthusiastic members and guests broke all our previous attendance records adding a high level of excitement to the meeting.
Everyone dropped their fears at the door and only picked them up again when our Table Topics Master asked guests to talk about their … fear of disorder (Ataxophobia), fear of home appliances (Oikophobia), or fear of the sun (Heliophobia).
Embedded throughout the meeting were tips and plenty of practice on giving effective, motivational evaluations. We agreed to call this “feed-forward” placing the focus on future improvement. What can the speaker consider to make the next speech better? How can the speaker grow?
Behaviors of an Effective Evaluator:
– show that you care
– suit your evaluation to the experience level of the speaker
– learn the speaker’s objectives
– be open to new ideas and experimentation
– build a motivational climate
– nourish self-esteem
– give concrete, practical tips for improvement
– end on a note of encouragement
Watch your language! Personalize!
“Should” and “should not” sound judgmental and can damage a speaker’s self-confidence. Say it like this instead:
– My reaction was …
– It appeared to me …
– I felt lost between the sections …
– I think your next speech will have a stronger impact on me if you …
– A technique that has helped me is …
– Consider … next time
Evaluation is not only something we do at Toastmasters. Learning how to feed-forward tips for improvement is essential in family, business, and community.
For good examples, check out:
Toastmasters Speech Evaluation Contest – John Zimmer

Bob Turel’s Speech Evaluation Seminar for Toastmasters


Hope to see you at our next meeting.

Khushi Pasquale, Founder
Center Berlin Toastmasters