What are winning evaluation contests?
I haven’t participated as an evaluation contestant that much, so when I won at my club, I got down to serious preparation. The best place to start, I thought, was to download the “Judges Guide & Ballot” and prepare by reading what the judges are going to score me on. Everyone has their own ritual, but how can I go wrong, by studying from the judges perspective.
Going into this contest, I thought I would be just dishing it out; the evaluation feedback I mean. However, I was surprised by how much feedback and evaluation I received. When the contest was done I was announced the winner; this at the area level. I received feedback from several members in the audience, which I am truly appreciative for. Thank You to all of you (you know who you are). Unless you have a videotape of yourself, you just cannot connect what you think you delivered and what the audience says you DID deliver.
No I didn’t videotape it but you can watch my video commentary here
Three attendees, stated the same to me, separately, so I knew this was accurate and worth listening to. “You didn’t say anything good about the speaker”, was the gyst of the feedback. One was actually very upset, but thankfully, we are good friends and I trusted what she was saying. “But how did I win then, I asked?” One said, ” . . . because you delivered the bad news in a very nice way”. Wow ! Wish I really would have had a video to see how that was done. I can sure use more of that.
Interesting how I evaluated, because just these past several weeks, I was realizing after bombing out at the speech contest level, right at club, that I have been receiving about 90% “whitewash” evaluations, over the past several years. How can I get better with “whitewash” for evaluations ? Well for one, I should buy and start using a video recorder to capture ALL my presentations, so I can evaluate myself, (actually just purchased one with wireless mic – so stay tuned). Second, maybe even hire a coach to give me feedback and ideas. Third, perhaps start viewing more speeches online, such as those found on soapboxguru.com.
However, when I went back to the judges form (above), the part on delivering “nice comments”, i.e. “whitewash” is in the “Technique” section, accounting for only 15 (max). The content I delivered (with bruth force perhaps), “Analytical Quality” accounts for 40 (max). So yes, “whitewash” may be good to deliver, for moral support, however, it delivers the least marks. After all, this is a CONTEST, right? So I concluded, I scored higher in the “analytical quality” and perhaps less in the “techniques” section. In determining the winner, the numbers don’t lie.
All these revelations and this epiphany came to me just by competing in the evaluation contest. Winning at club and area (so far) was the smallest part. It was the invaluable feedback and critique I received, as a contestant. So I can’t say enough, compete, compete, compete ! That will make sure you do not plateau and stall in your growth as a speaker. Also, don’t be afraid to critique yourself. Ask the demo speaker you evaluated to also give their comments. Looking forward to competing at the Division level in several days. Now back to honing my technique.
If you enjoyed this video, you might also like my other videos at;
or this video of me competing in our Humorous Speech Contest;