The General Evaluator is an evaluator of everything that takes place throughout the meeting.
Before the meeting
Check with the Toastmaster of the meeting to find out how the programme will be conducted and if there are any planned deviations from the usual meeting format.
This is very important because clubs tend to follow one of 2 variations:
General Evaluator Lite: The General Evaluator delivers a report at the end of the meeting about overall impressions
General Evaluator Heavy: The General Evaluator is the “Toastmaster for the Evaluations Portion of the Meeting.” S/he will assign evaluators and then introduce them as needed, sometimes with commentary interspersed and sometimes ending with a general report and/or a report on the evaluation quality at this meeting.
Decide with the Toastmaster how much involvement you will have before the meeting begins.
During the meeting
Take notes on everything that happens or, in your view, should happen. For example, were there unnecessary distractions that could have been avoided? Create a checklist from which you can follow the meeting. Did the meeting and each segment of it, begin and end on time?
You would not normally evaluate the Prepared Speakers or Tables Topics Speakers, as they have already been evaluated, but you may want to add something that the evaluator may have missed or express a different opinion.
Give your General Evaluation of the meeting, using the notes you took as suggested above. Comment on the quality of evaluations. Were they positive, upbeat, helpful? Did they point the way to improvement?
Try to think of something original to say!
GENERAL EVALUATOR, HEAVY:
In some clubs the General Evaluator is responsible for the Evaluation team, which may consist of the Speech Evaluators. This involves the following additional duties:
Before the meeting starts, greet all Evaluators who are present. If an Evaluator is missing, consult with the Vice President Education and arrange for a substitute.
Brief the Evaluators that evaluation is a positive, helping act. Their goal must be to help fellow Toastmasters develop their skills. Emphasize that evaluations should enhance or at least preserve the self-esteem of the speaker.
Ensure the individual Speech Evaluators have the Speaker’s manual and understand the project objectives and how to evaluate them. Suggest they talk to their Speakers to discover any special evaluation requirements.
During the meeting, before the first Evaluation, deliver a brief but thorough talk on the purpose, techniques, and benefits of evaluation – particularly for the benefit of any guests. Evaluation is a positive experience designed to help people overcome weak habits and add power to good ones.
General Evaluator is a challenging role because the report tends to run long. There is a lot to talk about, but a skilled GE will only deliver the comments that are most useful to the club at any given meeting.