A Teacher's Checklist For Evaluating Students' Public Speaking Skills

A Teacher’s Checklist For Evaluating Students’ Public Speaking Skills

Evaluating Students’ Public Speaking Skills

As someone who is supposed to evaluate students’ public speaking skills, it is very significant to see yourself as a part of that process. Whatever you say can remarkably affect the speaker’s speaking skills, charisma, and personality. Your evaluation should be objective, respectful, and mindful. It is a great opportunity for you as a teacher to help one of your students, but you have to make sure that it is also an opportunity for your students to express themselves in public. It is not something they do on a daily basis. 

Before the presentation or speech, ask your students about the main goal of their presentations. As they start presenting, carefully observe their presentational skills and they present. Are they nervous? Do they speak fast? You might help them calm down.

As the evaluator of public speaking skills, you have to make sure that your comments don’t affect your students’ self-esteem and their perceptions of their abilities. Reward their strengths and give them feedback to transform weaknesses into positive qualities. The most difficult part of the evaluation process is to attend to all the speaking aspects that need to be judged.

Here is a comprehensive checklist that specifies the number of criteria you have to note as you carefully observe.

Use checklists and rubrics to evaluate speaking skills

The following rubric is used to evaluate students’ public speaking skills and on-stage presentational performance. Students receive a post-speech report that highlights weaknesses, strengths, and suggestions to improve.

  1. Exceeds expectations
  2. Meets expectations
  3. Needs improvements
  4. Failed to meet expectations
Criteria for evaluating public speaking skills and presentational performance1 2 3 4
The topic is well researched and comprehensively talked over.
Is there a poise at the beginning? –  The speaker Appears comfortable with the audience.
The topic is introduced clearly.
The speaker is able to capture the audience’s attention.
The purpose is clear and captures the listener’s attention.
 The audience is engaged and interested during the speech.
There is some flexibility during the speech. 
The speaker varies the voice pitch and pace during the speech.
The speaker demonstrates the complexity of thought & the use of academic phrases and expressions.
stories and examples throughout the speech.
The content is organized logically with fluid transitions to capture and hold the listener’s attention.
The speaker shows enthusiasm and interest in the topic throughout the speech.
The speaker uses body language appropriately.
The synthesis shared with classmates is comprehensive, precise, and well-written.
The speaker is able to pause effectively during the speech.
The speaker has the topic credibility (references and sources of information).
The speech is completed within the time frame.

Example of a checklist used to evaluate speaking 

Here is a snapshot of the checklist. You can download it from the link below. 

A Teacher's Checklist For Evaluating Students' Public Speaking Skills


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Remember, as a teacher, it is your responsibility to help your students develop public speaking skills. You are a guide by the side and not a sage on the stage. As you are doing that, make sure you don’t make a mistake that you can’t correct later. The above checklist can help you give spot areas of weakness (which usually relate to the use of body language, voice projection, content organization, pausing, posture, the choice of words, pronunciation) and forward positive, guiding, and constructive feedback accordingly. 


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