Do you know how to manage up, down, and all around?

By Joy Davis, ACG, ALB

Imagine that you’re standing in the doorway of your boss’ office, watching him sort through emails, unaware of the unpleasant news you need to explain to him. His strategy is sinking a key program, and you’re the only person who can tell him.

You need to choose your words wisely, or what you say may have unintended consequences on both your career and that key program.

Toastmasters Can Help

I joined Toastmasters to become a better speaker. But after a decade of membership, I am convinced that what we learn about evaluation is just as important.

Evaluation skills are the key to tackling real-work professional challenges. Evaluation is about listening and observing, then delivering feedback. That’s the foundation to managing employees, co-workers, clients and your boss. People who can guide others—who can manage up, down and all around — are viewed as leaders, even if they don’t have a manager’s title. If you find yourself in the above situation, evaluation skills will give you the foundation you need.

Become an Effective Evaluator

To help you boost your feedback skills, Division B is hosting an evaluation workshop. The workshop is open to any Toastmaster as well as the public.  Event details:

What: Toastmasters Evaluation Workshop

Who: Hosted by Division B

Where: Arlington Central Library Auditorium, 1015 North Quincy Street, Arlington, Va.

Date: Sunday, Feb. 18 (President’s Day Weekend)

Time: 6:30-8:30pm

The Workshop: In this workshop you’ll work in small groups with experienced evaluators. You’ll leave with:

  • A note-taking strategy for evaluation – the foundation of any good evaluation
  • A strategy for assembling your evaluation – what goes in, what stays out, and what order to present it in
  • Constructive feedback on how you present yourself when evaluating

Other Details: $5 donation suggested, but not required, to cover food & beverage. If you’d like additional information about the event, or would like to volunteer, contact Area 23 Director Joy Davis at


Joy Davis ACG, ALB, is Area 23 Director and a member of SALT (Seasoned & Aspiring Leaders Toastmasters Club), which meets at various locations from 2-4pm on the third Saturday of each month. SALT’s next meeting is Jan. 20 at the Arlington Central Library, and guests are always welcome.

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