Speech Evaluation II: Rapport
Sat, September 24, 2011 at 16:15
Message Masters in Evaluation, NLP, Speech evaluation, Toastmasters, constructive criticism, critique, evaluating speeches, feedback, public speaking, publicspeaking, rapport, speech analysis, speech evaluator

This is the third of a four-part series on evaluating speeches. The first article presented the speech evaluation structure. The general structure for evaluating speeches at the Message Masters Toastmasters Club is:

  1. Rapport
  2. Feedback
  3. Inspire

This article describes how to get into rapport with the speaker, putting you and the speak in a positive frame of mind, open to receiving and giving specific feedback.

Rapport, to Roger Ellerton, PhD, CMC, author, consultant, and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Master trainer:

...is about establishing an environment of trust, understanding, respect and safety, which gives a person the freedom to fully express their ideas and concerns and to know that they will be respected by the other person(s). Rapport creates the space for the person to feel listened to, and heard and it doesn’t mean that they have to agree with what the other person says or does. Each person appreciates the other’s viewpoint and respects their model of the world.

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As speech evaluators, if we are in rapport with the speaker, the speaker will more easily receive and apply the evaluator's feedback in a relationship of safety and trust.  We are more likely to have our intention understood and be understood. We will also understand the speaker's intention for their speech. We want rapport! 

Is it easier to get into rapport with someone about a speech they will deliver in the future or about a speech they just delivered and you are going to evaluate without having discussed it with the speaker?  Future, of course. The speech isn't yet delivered. Nothing is at risk. Therefore, start getting into rapport by discussing the speech project with the speaker... before the meeting.

Before the Meeting

Take these steps to build rapport with the speaker before the meeting. Just having the conversation will increase their confidence that they are in good hands and put them [more] at ease:

At the Meeting

While Listening to the Speech

While Evaluating the Speech

These ideas are just about establishing and maintaining rapport. A future article on Feedback will provide more details on analyzing a speech and giving feedback.

Successful speech evaluation is partly about establishing and maintaining an environment of trust, being in rapport with the speaker for whose speech you are evaluating and being in rapport with the audience.

A side benefit is your evaluation skill will increase your presention skill.

Strive to create and maintain rapport before the meeting, during the meeting, and during your evaluation.  Being in rapport makes speech evaluating a valuable and rewarding experience for all.

Stay tuned for the next article on how to give specific, helpful, welcome feedback.

Craig Senior

Article excerpt copyright Roger Ellerton, used with permission. Roger Ellerton, PhD, CMC is the managing partner and founder of Renewal Technologies Inc. Click for more about Roger, Rapport, and Feedback.

Article originally appeared on Message Masters Toastmasters Ottawa - Public Speaking Training (http://www.messagemasters.org/).
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