How to Evaluate a Speech: 15 Steps (with Pictures)

How to Evaluate a Speech: 15 Steps (with Pictures)
How to Evaluate a Speech: 15 Steps (with Pictures)

It is difficult to speak in public. Whether you are taking a class to learn how to give speeches or helping a friend prepare a thank-you speech or the like, learning to give constructive feedback can help the speaker improve and streamline their speech.. Learn to actively listen and take notes in the most important moments of the speech, then focus on the criticisms that are of great importance to the speaker.


Part 1 of 3: Listen actively

Evaluate a Speech Step 1

Step 1. Give the speaker your full attention

You cannot comment on a speech if you are not listening to it. Whether you are listening to a lecture for a class or helping someone prepare for a public speaking engagement, sit comfortably and listen to the flow of the speech. Listen carefully and engage with the speaker.

  • Turn off all your electronic devices and remove any source of distraction. Watch the speaker as he or she speaks. You should only have a pen and a sheet of paper in your hands to take any notes.
  • Never rate a speech based on text alone. In other words, don't make your comments based on reading the text of the speech. You should see the speaker deliver his speech. If a text is designed to be spoken, it must be heard in order to be judged.
Evaluate a Speech Step 2

Step 2. Identify the main idea of ​​the speech

The first thing you need to remember is the main idea being communicated. If you are listening to a persuasive speech, the first step is to try to understand the main thesis or idea that the speaker is trying to demonstrate. The speaker's role is to bring out this main idea, so you should be able to recognize this point quickly.

  • If you cannot find the main idea of ​​the speech, try to guess what the speaker is trying to demonstrate. Write it down. When you do your evaluation, this will be useful feedback.
  • In some speeches, such as a toast, podium, or acceptance speech, the main idea may be obvious, but it is never stated. Does the speaker clearly convey this idea? Is he doing too much? Can he make the idea of ​​the speech clearer?
Evaluate a Speech Step 3

Step 3. Try to follow the speaker's arguments

The main idea of ​​the speech is a bit like the top of a table: it is useless if it is not supported by the legs of the table, which play the role of examples, arguments, reasoning logic or any other point that supports the main idea. How does the speaker go about demonstrating his main idea?

  • If you are listening to persuasive speech, try to come up with answers, questions, or counterarguments that you could use to make your assessment. What was confusing? Were there any points that could have been clearer? Did you find any holes in the argument?
  • If you are listening to an informal speech, much like a toast or acceptance speech, focus on organizing the information. Is it consistent? Do the ideas follow each other well?
Evaluate a Speech Step 4

Step 4. Get ready to be convinced

If you listen to the speech with a closed mind, it will be difficult for you to assess it. Even if you are about to listen to someone who is going to speak at the Flat Earth Association, do your best to put yourself in an objective state of mind and volunteer to listen to the content of the presentation. If you don't agree, you will be going against the product. Don't let your preconceptions take precedence over objective criticism.

Evaluate a Speech Step 5

Step 5. Take notes

Identify the key points and arguments the speaker is trying to make and list them. You don't need to make a detailed outline of the speech, but just keep some written records so that you have material to make your judgment a little later. Take accurate notes and your evaluation will be that much easier.

Write down particularly memorable quotes and times when you can praise the speech. Note the times when the speaker elicits positive or negative crowd reactions

Part 2 of 3: Evaluate Specific Details

Evaluate a Speech Step 6

Step 1. Evaluate the content of the speech

The most important part of the speech is not the style of speech or the charisma of the speaker, but the content of the speech. This is difficult because you have to answer all the challenges of writing an essay, in addition to making it easy to listen to when spoken out loud. The most important point on which to focus your evaluation is the content of the speech. If it is persuasive or argumentative speech, the content is likely to include a lot of research, real world examples, and a lot of different points. In an informal speech, the content will likely consist of anecdotes, short stories and jokes. When doing your assessment, keep the following questions in mind and answer them for your comments.

  • What was the main point of the speech?
  • Was the content clear and well articulated?
  • Was the argument supported by research? Good examples?
  • Was the content clear enough for the audience?
  • Has the speaker been able to demonstrate his idea?
Evaluate a Speech Step 7

Step 2. Evaluate the organization of the speech

For the content of a speech to be clear and easy to integrate, it must be well organized. Public speaking, whether formal or informal, should be very easy to listen to. If the speech goes from rooster to donkey or changes the subject too regularly, it needs to be rearranged. To help you assess the organization of the speech, keep the following questions in mind.

  • Was the argument put forward logically structured?
  • Was the speech easy to follow? Hard ? Why ?
  • Were the different points of the argument connected in a logical way?
  • What do you think could have been added to clarify the discourse?
Evaluate a Speech Step 8

Step 3. Evaluate the style of speech

If the content of the speech refers to what is spoken, the style refers to the way it is pronounced. In a good speech, the style should match the content. A serious topic about dolphin populations is unlikely to be dealt with through games with the public or requiring their participation. The speaker's choices whether or not to joke, engage with the audience, or include personal elements in the speech play a role in style. The way the speech is written affects the style, but the way it is delivered is also an important factor. Are the jokes pronounced in the tone commonly used for joking? Is the research presented clearly and correctly? Keep the following questions in mind.

  • How would you describe the style of the speech and the speaker?
  • Does the style of speech help the content or does it undermine it? Why ?
  • Was the speaker convincing?
  • How long did the speech last? Was it easy to follow?
Evaluate a Speech Step 9

Step 4. Evaluate the tone of the speech

Tone of speech refers to the overall impact of content and style. The tone can be light, serious, playful, there is no right or wrong tone for a speech. It may be welcome to tell light-hearted stories or jokes in a tone of eulogy, as this can be disastrous. It may be appropriate to tell a heartwarming story about your boss when he or she retires or not. The tone should be appropriate for the speech itself and the occasion.

  • Who are the people listening to the speech? What are their expectations of the speech and the speaker?
  • How would you describe the tone of the speech?
  • Does the tone relate to the content? Why ?
  • How else could the tone be improved?
  • How did the tone of the speech affect the listeners?

Part 3 of 3: Give Constructive Feedback

Evaluate a Speech Step 10

Step 1. Write down your comments

Regardless of the event and the reason you are commenting, for example for school or informally, it is best to write down your criticisms, praise and comments so that the speaker is in possession of. 'an evaluation document. If you have suggestions, the speaker may forget them, especially if you tell them immediately after the speech. It is therefore best to write a short note, no longer than 250 or 300 words, to complete your assessment of the speech.

In some courses in learning the art of speech, you may need to fill out a grid or give the speech a grade. Follow the specific instructions and give an appropriate rating

Evaluate a Speech Step 11

Step 2. Summarize the speech as you understand it

Begin your assessment with a summary of what you took away from the speech. This will help you explain to the speaker what you understood from what he was trying to communicate. Don't worry about making a perfectly correct summary. If you have listened carefully and have done your best to follow the reasoning, any mistake on your part can only be instructive to the speaker. This means that it is something that he will have to clarify in his speech.

  • Start your comment with something like “What I understood from your speech is that…” or “This is what I took away…”
  • A good summary should be about a little less than half of your commentary. Identify the main idea and the main arguments of the speech. The summary should focus only on the content.
Evaluate a Speech Step 12

Step 3. First, focus your evaluation on the content of the speech

Not everyone is Martin Luther King Jr. If you focus your assessment on the oratorical skills of the speaker first, it may not be very helpful, especially if you are in the situation of a speaker. speech class, wedding speech or business presentation.

If the speaker is a spoiler, focus on how the content could better match the speaking style and how the tone could be changed to go with the ensemble. These are changeable things. Telling a speaker to be "more dynamic" or "funny" is not a good option

Evaluate a Speech Step 13

Step 4. Always find something that you can praise

Even if you've just watched your best friend get tripped up in the most lousy speech ever, it's important to find a positive review. Start your review with something to compliment to get you off on the right foot. All of your comments should be constructive, not destructive, criticism. If you start by telling someone that they sounded nervous while giving their speech or that it was without substance, you will only make it worse.

  • If you think the speech was boring, say something like, "The tone was moderate, I think that goes well with the occasion." "
  • If the speaker seemed nervous, try to reassure them by giving them a few compliments, such as “You seemed convinced. The content really speaks for itself. "
Evaluate a Speech Step 14

Step 5. Focus your comments on the speech review

Each comment should aim to make a specific change that will improve the quality of the speech. You don't just have to identify what's wrong or what doesn't seem right. This will give you constructive feedback for the speaker who can work to improve their speech, rather than just tearing it down.

Don't say “I didn't like the jokes you made”, but rather say “Next time I think you could skip the jokes to make the speech a little quicker. "

Evaluate a Speech Step 15

Step 6. Try to focus on no more than three key areas for improvement

By inundating someone with 50 different things to change, you might put them off. As a reviewer, it is important that you focus on the three most important points and leave out the more minor things.

  • Focus on content corrections, speech organization and tone first, before moving on to other aspects of speech. These are the most important categories of improvement and the best ways to quickly increase the quality of speech. These are the priorities.
  • Second, concern yourself with the specifics of the speech. Whether the pun at the end is on point must be one of the speaker's last concerns. If the speech is already very good, then you can move on to this kind of concern.


  • Systematically start and end your review with praise.
  • Only refer to your grades if you are doing a formal or written assessment.

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