Evaluate an Ice Breaker speech

During my last meeting at the Taboos Toastmasters club, there was a mini debate about what an evaluation for an Ice Breaker speech should include. Based on my experiences, in this video I share what I believe are the rules we should all follow when evaluating an Ice Breaker speech.

Your comments and suggestions on how to give the best possible evaluation for Ice Breakers are welcome. Use the comments box below.

Gifted Hands: The Movie

I have a time slot on my weekly agenda reserved for entertainment and even though that time slot is on Saturday or Sunday afternoon, I decided to shift it to today and I am so glad I did. My entertainment time is usually spend with friends or at the beach but today I watched a movie: “Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story”.

Gifted Hands

I want to share a few lessons I learned during this hour and half. Here are the lessons:

  • Prayer works. During the movie, every time Dr. Carson is faced with a situation he cannot handle by himself, he prays. Prayer always helped him, as it is a powerful tool in the toolbox of a believer. Pray!
  • Have someone who believes in your potential. Ben’s mother always saw in him what he did not see in himself, until he began to see. One of the favorite expressions his mother uses in the movie is this: “You just have to see beyond what you can see.”
  • Always do what is right, regardless of the possible consequences. Soon after beginning his internship, Dr. Carson performs an unauthorized and unsupervised surgery on a patient who would have otherwise died without an immediate intervention. He is not fired but rather congratulated for taking the risk to do what is right for a doctor, attempting to save a life despite the possible consequences in the case of failure.

The above are only three lessons, but a book could be written out the movie, which is made out of a published and bestselling book.The book was recommended to me by Mrs. Santiago, the Librarian at my university. Thank you Mrs. Santiago. I will read the book “Think Big: Unleashing Your Potential for Excellence”. The movie gives a good account of his life based on the bestselling autobiography. I strongly recommend you do watch this movie if you can.

Conference Call: Strategic Life Planning. March 25th, 2013

Last Saturday, February 23rd 2013, I hosted and spoke at the Strategic Life Planning Seminar. The seminar was the very first of the four I will host and speak at throughout this year. The attendance was good and the feedback was great! Because many people could not make it to the event venue, I decided to share the information via a conference call. This way anybody with a cellphone can benefit from the program.


By participating in this conference call, you will learn about the following:

  • What strategic life planning is and how it can help you realize your dreams
  • A simple method to find your life purpose
  • How to to identify and clarify your values
  • How to create a personal mission statement that aligns with your life purpose and values
  • How to evaluate yourself before (re)starting the planning process
  • The aspects of your life that must be planned with supporting examples

The phone number to dial in is: +15597261200, access code is: 840057. The time and date March 25th, 2013 from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM is Pacific Daylight Time (PDT). To find out the date and time of the event in your time zone, use the World Clock at www.timeanddate.com. If you have any question or concern. Send me an email or call me. My contact information is available on my Contact page. Recording of the call will be made available after the event.

Evaluating a speech for maximum impact

I gave a speech at the Taboos Toastmasters club yesterday evening and during the evaluation by the General Evaluator, there was a mini debate about the best way for evaluators to evaluate a speech. The argument had one group of people who thought the evaluator should speak directly and exclusively to the speaker, and the other group thought the evaluator should speak to the speaker but also address the audience.

Speech Evaluation


I think an effective and impactful evaluation achieves both purposes. Based on my personal experience and the content available on the Toastmasters.org website, this is what I think a speech evaluation should be conducted, in three minutes:

  • Connect with the speaker. Find a point the speaker made that you could relate to, and open by mentioning that point. That will make the speaker feel at ease and know that you actually listened carefully. During this phase of the evaluation, focus your attention on the speaker. It is your evaluation opening, and the speaker should feel that this will be about him or her.
  • Highlight the strong points of the speaker. The strong points of the speaker should either be the speaking skills he has and you the evaluator don’t, or the speaking skills that you have and can tell the speaker has too. Mentioning those skills will help audience members learn from the evaluation process, the speech would have given them a good reference.
  • Make suggestions for improvement. This is where the constructive criticism comes in. One important word NOT to say to transition into this phase is the word “BUT”. When you use the word “but”, whatever you would have said before is nullified and rendered void in the mind of the speaker and the audience. Replace “but” with “and”. It will achieve the same purpose and will be more effective. The suggestions for improvement are those aspect of the speaker’s delivery or message that “you” believe making adjustments to will help in the future. Keep these suggestions to a minimum (in public) and during this phase, generalize what you say by turning your suggestions into lessons for the speaker and the audience alike.

Giving a good speech evaluation that will have an impact on the speaker is a challenging task. Just like with anything else, it is the process of doing that over and over again that will make you become an expert a it. The debate should not be about whether you should speak exclusively to the speaker or the audience, it should be about what goes into delivering an impactful evaluation. Every time you evaluate, remember the points mentioned above and you will be evaluating for maximum impact.

My first video following up on “YouTube it!”

This week has been great and I cannot wait until next week, which will be even greater. One of the very good things that happened among others this week is my first meeting with Darren Lacroix, the 2001 World Champion of Public Speaking. Darren was giving an educational presentation at the Orange County Speakers Bureau and I am so happy I made time to attend. In this post, I share  a video I created after watching one of Darren’s video products: YouTube it! How To Profit From Free Web Video.

My objective now will be to produce and upload one video every week on my channel. That will be 52 videos in a year. It is possible and easy. The key is just to start doing it and not stopping once momentum is built. Like Darren says, “Done is better than perfect.”