The evaluation of natural ventilation potential for cooling indoor spaces during the early design phases is of great interest to researchers and practitioners. Among various definitions and usages for natural ventilation potential (NVP) in early design evaluation, this paper reviews and identifies the key performance indicators, and proposes two new dynamic metrics—natural ventilation cooling effectiveness (NVCE) and climate potential utilization ratio (CPUR). The metrics are dynamically responsive to various design options, in both steady and transient states, allowing consideration of thermal mass. Assisting in design development processes, the metrics quantify how well indoor spaces make use of natural ventilation’s cooling capacity. Case studies are presented to demonstrate how NVCE and CPUR enable designers to evaluate the predicted performance and how to apply the information to improve building design. The results of the design iterations showed that the relationship among various design parameters should be dynamically understood in order to evaluate the performance of natural ventilation, confirming that “the more the airflow, the greater the potential,” and “the heavier the thermal mass, the greater the energy saving” were not always true.