Your presentation is your chance to make an impression and get your message across. How well you do this will depend on many different factors, such as how engaging your story was or if the flow of the talk helped keep people's attention.
One important factor that can help determine how successful a presentation is - feedback! Feedback can be in the form of questions from attendees, evaluations after a speech or critique by someone who has listened to it.
In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about presentation feedback:
- Why is presentation feedback important?
- How to collect presentation feedback
- How to use presentation feedback
- How to handle and respond to presentation feedback
Why is Presentation Feedback Important?
Let's consider some reasons why feedback is important below:
- It can help you identify areas that need improvement. How do you know what to work on if you don't know what your weaknesses are? Receiving feedback will help highlight any areas that may need some extra attention so that you can focus on making changes.
- It helps with pacing and delivery. Giving a presentation is more than just talking - it's about your delivery and how you use body language, intonation and other ways to keep people engaged. How can you do this if you don't know what works well or where the areas of improvement are?
- It helps with consistency. How consistent was your message across different presentations? Was it clear in all cases that everyone understood the same thing when you were finished? How consistent was your timing, wording and other elements of the presentation? Feedback will help answer these questions so that you can adjust accordingly.
- It helps to build confidence. How confident were you when presenting? Did your feedback help make it clear that people understood everything and enjoyed the presentation or was there something that needed improvement? How often were you told you did a good job overall, regardless of the areas where some adjustments are still necessary?
- Feedback helps you to improve your presentation skills. It can help identify what worked and what didn't work in your talk. This information can then be used to make changes for future presentations, making them even more successful than the last ones!
Presentation Feedback: How To Collect
So how do you collect feedback? Let's take a look at some ways:
After your presentation
One of the easiest ways to get feedback is to ask attendees directly after your talk. This allows people who just heard your speech to give their immediate thoughts on it. You can also ask questions about what they found interesting or what they would like to learn more about.
Another way to gather feedback is through online surveys. These surveys can be sent out to attendees after your presentation or posted on a website. If you use an online survey, make sure that it is simple and easy to fill out - try not to overwhelm people with too many questions!
If you are presenting at a conference then there will likely be some kind of evaluation form for the audience members to complete. This may consist of multiple choice answers as well as room for any additional feedback.
Ask someone else's perspective
Another way of gathering feedback is by asking another– such as a friend to watch your speech and give you their thoughts on it. This is an effective way to get someone else's perspective, but make sure that this person has relevant experience to provide quality feedback!
A good resource could be another speaker at the same conference as you or a keynote speaker who gave a presentation before yours then ask them for feedback too. How did they find getting audience members' responses? What were some of the difficulties? How can these be alleviated in future speeches?
Record, Watch, Evaluate
Another great way to get feedback after giving a speech is by watching a recording of yourself. This way you can see how your presentation looked and sounded to the audience. You may be surprised by what you see and hear!
Bonus Tip: Ask Peers about their feedback collection process
Ask other speakers who have presented before about their experiences getting feedback afterwards and how they used it to improve future speeches. You can also talk to them about what worked best in terms of collecting this information.
Presentation Feedback: How to Use It
Now that we gained valuable feedback from our presentation, what should we do with that information? We will discuss five key things each speaker should do:
- Take a step back and assess what you did well. Chances are that there were some things in your presentation that went off without a hitch - identify them and praise yourself for them!
- Look at the areas where you could use improvement. This is where the majority of the feedback you've collected will come into play. Make a list of all the suggestions and start to work on addressing each one. It's important to be realistic with this process - don't try to change everything at once!
- Create goals based on the feedback you received . How can you improve your next presentation by using what you learned? What steps do you need to take in order to meet these goals? Having tangible objectives will help keep you motivated as you work on improving your skills.
- Practice, practice, practice! This is probably the most important thing you can do to improve your public speaking abilities. The more speeches you give, the better you will become. And don't forget - get feedback from others after each one to track your progress!
- Last but not least, stay humble. No matter how well your speech goes, there is always room for improvement so don't rest on your laurels! Keep practicing and collecting feedback in order to make sure that every presentation is your best yet.
Presentation Feedback: How to Handle & Respond
How to handle and respond when receiving feedback on a presentation? Here are five ways to respond:
- Don't get defensive or argumentative. If someone is trying to give you advice, they probably only have the best intentions of helping you improve your skills - be appreciative!
- Listen without interrupting them and thank them for their feedback. This will encourage more people to want to share it with you in the future!
- Be open to suggestions. How can you improve your speech if you don't at least consider the advice of others?
- Don't forget about what worked well during a presentation - it can be easy to focus on what didn’t go so smoothly, but try not to overlook any achievements!
- Try new things and make improvements. You don't have to implement every suggestion that you get, but if it seems like something that can help then why not try?
Getting feedback is important because it will help improve your public speaking skills. It allows you to see what worked well during your talk so that you may repeat it again in future presentations!
If you are looking for more resources to develop your public speaking skills while you are in the comforts of your own home, take advantage of the many online resources available to you. Please check out the article ‘Online Resources for Public Speaking‘ for a detailed review of some online resources for public speaking.