Today I evaluated my first speech in a Toastmasters meeting.
The first time I attended Toastmasters, though, I was already evaluating. They say that’s not a good thing, that it’s not good to always be judging. But I was.
The first time I attended Toastmasters, I kept thinking, “Okay, here’s what they did right. Oh, but here’s what they did wrong.”
It might not be the best habit for relating to other people, but I think it does sort of help me. When I evaluate other people, I learn what to do and what not to do in my own speeches.
I remember that first meeting I attended. One of the biggest things that stood out to me was this: most of the speakers felt polished. They new the technique of speaking. What they lacked was a meaningful agenda… and the ability to feel real.
That’s how I evaluated my first official speech today. I started by saying I’d break this into two components: style and content (how real it felt and how meaningful the agenda was).
For me, it doesn’t matter how many um’s and ah’s you say, as long as you feel genuine. In fact, being a little spontaneous can endear me to you even more.
Beyond all that even more, though, it doesn’t matter how polished your speech is if it’s not meaningful. If it doesn’t pull on my emotions or stir my mind, there’s no point to it.
I’m sure my first official evaluation wasn’t all that great. I hope moving forward, though, I can keep these in mind with my own speeches: style and content.