At a recent meeting, Club Founder, Debra Owen-Hughes gave us all some valuable advice regarding the role of Topics Evaluator. The challenging task of Topics Evaluation becomes even more challenging when there are a large number of people who have taken part in the topics session and only a 10-minute set period to conduct the evaluation. Here were Debra’s main points:
1. Don’t run over time. Count how many speakers you have and work out how you can get it into 10 minutes. Begin with a brief reflection on the Chairing of and choice of topics and then get going with the speakers. Leave out any of the more experienced speakers and you can always include them later if you have spare time. Or, you could exclude anyone with a speaking role in the second half as they will be evaluated elsewhere in the meeting. One good tip would be to list and evaluate the new speakers on one page, and the ‘older’ speakers on another so they are clearly defined and you can move on to the second page only if there is time.
2. Depending on the time available, mention only 3 things per person at most. If you make a point for improvement, include a suggestion for how to improve, don’t just point it out. Everything needs a solution or an idea about how to change it.
3. Be adaptable and flexible and keep it brief. Better to say too little than too much, and if you’re feeling the time constraints, offer a single point well made.