Tag: Evaluation

How to Give Constructive Feedback for a Speech.


Helping a speaker to refine and improve their public speaking skills requires paying close attention and listening carefully.

When evaluating a speech keep in mind that the primary goal of the exercise is to empower the speaker, to acknowledge their strong points and give practical tips on how to improve. The overall tone of your critique should give value to the speaker’s efforts by being helpful and constructive. It is a personal opinion on how you experienced the speaker’s performance. Avoid speaking on behalf of the audience.

Discuss with the speaker beforehand if there are any points for which they would like special attention. Ask for some background information and what are their objectives Remember the speaker’s name and use it.

An effective critique can be structured using the following criteria:




Attitude: Did the speaker portray a confident attitude and begin by capturing the audience’s attention? Was the delivery rushed or did it have an agreeable pace and rhythm? How did you feel about the speaker’s stage presence? Keep a look out for authenticity and credibility. Did the speaker show that he/she is knowledgeable about their subject and was the topic relevant to the audience?

Construction: Was the speech well-structured with a clear introduction, body and conclusion? Were the ideas ordered logically and were there smooth transitions which allowed the audience to assimilate all that was being said? At the end of the speech were you able to simply define the purpose of the speech? If visual aids were used were they used appropriately, were they clearly seen and how did they add value to the speech?

Expression: Expression is the driving force behind the speech. What sort of hand gestures, facial expressions and movement on the podium did the speaker display. Did the speaker use vocal variety to add substance to his/her delivery? Most importantly, what was the emotion that the speaker conveyed?

Note down points while the speaker is talking so that at the end you can formulate your observations into a coherent structure. Select only the most relevant points. Restrict your recommendations to areas where it is clear that with a slight adjustment the speaker can make a significant improvement.

Keep your critique compact and beneficial. Demonstrate your recommendations with specific examples. Be candid and don’t give praise where it is not due.

Conclude by telling the speaker what you liked most about their speech and offer praise for their efforts. Reflect on how you can improve on gaining mastery in giving constructive feedback and continually strive to improve your observation skills.