The Evaluation Contest features a 2 to 3 minutes evaluation of a target speaker. The target speaker gives a speech which all the evaluation contestants are to evaluate.
The contestants are taken from the room and given five minutes to prepare their speeches and make notes. Then, their notes are taken away and they are brought back into the room one by one (at which time the contestant gets their notes back) to deliver their oral evaluation of the target speech.
Since no contestant hears what another said about the target speech, the judges can compare the analytical abilities of the contestants.
Typically, clubs begin holding their contest in February and March. Area contests are held in March with the Division Contest in April. The District 58 Contest will be held at the Spring Conference in May.
Analytical Quality refers to the effectiveness of the evaluation. Every evaluation should carefully analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the speaker’s presentation. Were the evaluator’s comments clear and logical? Did the evaluator identify specific strengths and weaknesses of the presentation?
Recommendations are an important part of an evaluation. An evaluator not only points out the strengths and weaknesses of a speech, he/she also offers specific recommendations for improvement. Recommendations should be practical, helpful and positive, and they should enable the speaker to improve his or her next presentation.
Technique refers to the manner in which the evaluator presents his/her comments and recommendations. An evaluator should be sensitive to the feelings and needs of the speaker, yet inspire and encourage the speaker in his/her future speaking efforts.
Summation is how the evaluator concludes the evaluation. The conclusion should briefly summarize the evaluator’s comments and suggestions, and be positive and encouraging.