#CranfieldSpeakers, #Toastmasters, #TopicsEvaluator
Maxime presented a very well thought out, prepared, and delivered Table-topics session last night. I was very hard-pressed to evaluate it and find strong recommendations.
Maxime had picked up Maria’s (Toastmaster of the Evening) theme on World Seafaring day (image credit: http://www.imo.org/About/Events/dayoftheseafarer/Pages/Day-of-the-Seafarer-2014.aspx ) to set us all on a nautical adventure. Jim had to buy the boat, Rose-marie had to navigate, Paul to negotiate with pirates, and finally Maria had to decide what to do with the treasure.
It ticked all the boxes in terms of introduction, purpose, timing, subject, explanation to the speakers, linkages, and closing summary. The only recommendation I could find was to preload the slides because the time take to insert and load the powerpoint slides from a flash-drive eroded some of the initial anticipation and attention. The seamless use of computer based visual aids is something all of us need to work on.
Jim came up very ‘three sheets to the wind’ to the wind. I saw all the main strengths: confidence and enthusiasm, structured beginning, middle and end, body language, eye contact, vocal variety, varied vocabulary, strong word pictures, and use of the floor. The only recommendation I had was the initial three sheets to the wind acting scared me into wondering if first aid was needed.
Rose-marie is another really accomplished speaker. All the main strengths were there including making the story her own and ending up in New York city, using a crystal ball, where there is always someone to sell you all the treasures of the world. Getting into the flow sooner and making freer use of the stage area were my main recommendations
The laughs came thick and fast with Paul as he attempted to negotiate the situation with pirates. All the key table topic strengths were there. We all have a tendency to avert our eyes when thinking, up, down, or to the side, and that can weaken the connection to the audience.
Maria oogled up a large chest of treasure whilst also coping with an agenda with two late speech drop out in her role as Toastmaster of the Evening. Maria gave an effective structured response that linked in with the story of the other three table topics speakers. I think we all need to avoid looking back at overheads and flipcharts whilst also trying to speak as the volume drops and the eye contact goes.
I honestly need to raise my game in terms of appreciating the highest quality attributes of table-topics if I am to spot the room for improvement let alone give useful recommendations in session like this that positively blow my socks off.
Overall I managed to give sufficient descriptive summary and feedback to each person a commendation and a recommendation. Well done Maxime and all.