“Evaluators don’t often pick up the Toastmaster of the Day award, because giving evaluations is hard, indeed very hard, especially when the evaluation is of a complex speech that also can seem so well delivered that one may be left attempting to scratch at one’s cranium for suggestions. Then there is no peace and quiet to prepare in. And worse than that little time in which to prepare a response.

Further to be a good evaluator, three important leadership skills are tested, that of listening intently, analysing critically, and the giving of constructive feedback.

Speakers of all level appreciate good evaluations because when done well it both boosts their confidence and gives valuable feedback and informative suggestions for improvement.

Today, Erin Daldry a special guest from the Police Toastmasters club, won our Toastmaster of the day’s award. What for? Well, Marian Horan, our General Evaluator who made the award said it was for the way Erin acknowledge Grace’s great achievement today and for Erin’s preparedness.

I also think it was Erin’s better preparedness that helped her make such a splendid job of acknowledging Grace, which was attested as she found out when Grace joined our club and used that fact to highlight the rapidity with which Grace has reached the major Toastmaster milestone of 10 speeches and the completion of her Competent Communicator (CC) manual.

Erin also asked Grace to stand up and gave our whole club the chance to join in recognising Grace’s achievement by encouraging a hearty round of applause which spontaneously became a standing ovation.

Erin’s better preparedness also extended to asking Grace for her personal objectives beyond those in the CC manual, which were “the use of filler words and her use of stories”. This knowledge then both gave Erin two extra talking points and gave a boost to the value of Erin’s evaluation to Grace.

In the body of Erin’s evaluation- I aver – Erin’s listening and critical analysis skills shone when she spoke of not wanting to make vocal variety suggestions that might distract from Grace’s fascinating and warm speaking style, but rather suggested that Grace could use the pause to add variety. Further, the pause could be used by Grace to add gravity, when Grace spoke of a borrower taking out a loan of three hundred thousand to buy a house e.g. “a 25 year loan @5% of <pause> <pause> three hundred thousand”.

Again, congratulations go to Erin for winning our Toastmaster of the Day award and also follows a big thank you from everyone at Terrace@12 for visiting our club.