Are you bored?

“My first recommendation is to look at the camera. I would like to have more eye contact as if you are engaged with me.”

I’m not sure about you, but in the past few weeks, these words have become a cliché in giving an evaluation to any speech. The repertoire of the same evaluation would leave me wondering if this suggestion adds much value to the speaker and audience? I kept wondering what if I couldn’t afford all those high-end technologies, what if I had to rely on low bandwidth? what if I lived in a small space and couldn’t make do? What then?

One of the reasons I joined Toastmasters is because it is a safe place to practice. For me, that meant my external conditions may not be perfect but I had a place to still practice and not feel ashamed that I couldn’t afford the best technology. I also wondered, what qualities do I need at this moment to empower myself to get the job interview or be asked to facilitate a workshop? Is it the best technology or a fertile mindset?

I didn’t want the fear of not having things perfect to stand in my way, instead, I saw this moment as an opportunity to build my muscle of resilience and shift my perspective. I realized if in my professional life:

1. If I was faced in crises management, can I tune my mindset to observe with what tools is available right now instead of thinking what “I should be having” or I don’t have the right tools yet. As a facilitator in emotional management,  I could strengthen my resilient mindset by saying yes to giving more online general evaluations to overcome my itch if perfectionism.

2. If the video was not accessible to others? My past ten years of teaching online shared with me, don’t let the participant feel insecure when they can’t be seen. I adopted a DJ voice or imagined myself having a conversation with a long lost friend on the phone as a way to interact with the audience. As you may have guessed, I used tonal variety as my to-go-to rescue tool and create a safe environment for participants to express themselves.

3. If I had to give a speech to an audience that was visually impaired and realized that I could not rely on their sight or my facial expression or hand gestures, how could I amplify my speech?  I started to re-examine my approach to the kinds of words I used and structured content appropriately.

In the chaos of COVID 19, I was reminded:

1. Always work with what you have and relax the grip from perfectionism.

2. As General Evaluator Junkie, I’m given the opportunity to share with clubs how to upscale what they think are imperfections and turn it into an advantage.  Let go of the idea you need the best equipment to deliver a good speech.

3. Last but not least, COVID 19 revalidated the value of emotional intelligence, especially in our social competence.  I want to communicate and interact successfully with an audience and it’s vital for me to build a trusting relationship. As an evaluator, I must practice the awareness that I don’t know what circumstances the speaker is facing privately, picking on his or her technology may not be the most sensitive or wisest recommendation.

I want to invite you, the next time you take on a role as an evaluator, notice your delivery and content. Practice empathy in the way you will deliver the commendations and recommendations. If want to take it one step further, join us on The D91 24 hour toastmaster event, where I will briefly share some tips on evaluating with video. You will find the link below. If you have any question, you can reach out on social media @kirti168

It runs from 4-6 pm the Theme is “Obstacles | Opportunity | Optimism” Please register here:

Kirti Daryanani

104 London Debaters club

For more #befriendurmind @kirti168

Last Updated on 7th October 2020 by Susan Rayner