Peter Golden heads to Division Level in Evaluation Contest
Club Contest Summary
Despite the easing of restrictions, online was the venue of the DSTM Evaluation contest for the second year running. It was the final “Contest Night” and the club was treated to a fantastic show. Two experienced Toastmasters, Colette Ainscough and Chris Werner served as Contest Chair and Chief Judge respectively. For the evaluation contest, widely considered to be one of the toughest contest, three committee members battled it out for the bragging rights.
Garvan Gallagher (President), Graham Dungan (Vice President for Education) and Peter Golden (Treasurer) were the competitors evaluating a magnificent speech by visiting Toastmaster, Cliff Kirker. In the end, it was Peter Golden who came out on top and progressed through to the Area Level.
We caught up with Peter following his second Evaluation Contest win.
How are you feeling after winning this contest for a second time?
I obviously seem to enjoy this competition and was thrilled to win. I like the evaluation competition and find the challenge of evaluating a new speech each time very rewarding and unique.
After winning the contest previously in 2020, just before the pandemic hit, how do you feel your evaluation skills have progressed since?
I am used to hearing great evaluations in the club from a variety of members which has really helped me to pick up on new techniques and skills. I would credit everything I have learned to date to the club.
What in your mind makes a great evaluation?
In my mind a great evaluation should contain;
- A brilliant introduction where you set the scene of what the speech was like and how you approached the evaluation.
- A strong body where you point out a few things the speaker did great and always a few recommendations
- A very strong conclusion summarising your points and wrapping up
It’s not always easy to do this in the 3 minutes!
How do you organise your notes in preparation for what is essentially an impromptu speech?
I usually arrange my thoughts when listening to the speech in terms of what I heard, what I saw and what I felt from the speech. This helps me to make sure that I hit all the major attributes of a great speech. I then flesh it out with an introduction and strong conclusion which are essential. While you are not allowed to check your notes while the other contestants are evaluating, I do tend to go over in my head what I plan to say so I have a clear roadmap for when it is my turn.
Any tips for someone who wants to try and challenge for your crown next year?
I’d say just go for it. You will only get better by more and more practice and entering a competition is the ultimate way to put yourself under pressure to improve. My main advice is just to be honest when evaluating the speech and try not to take it too seriously. Just try to have fun and everything else will flow from there.
Area Contest Summary
Thankfully Peter’s run of good form continued, and against stiff competition he came out on top, and in so doing, ensured a 75% record for Dublin South wins at the Area Level this year. He goes through to the Division contest, his second time at that level. After his win, we asked Peter about how his past experience will help him.
“I definitely find myself a lot more relaxed in competitions now which is the main thing. As I alluded to, you just need to enjoy it and make the most of it which is the main thing.”
Peter will represent Area 54 at the Division Level in early April. This will once again be online, so anyone is willing to join. In the meantime, we wish Peter the very best of luck at the next stage!