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Techniques Public speaking > Preparing Yourself > Get Feedback

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Seek feedback from people who attend, watch and listen to your presentations. Ask for their perceptions on topics such as:

  • How clear and intelligible your speaking is.
  • How the words you use help them understand.
  • How well you use body language.
  • The extent to which you 'connect' with your audience.
  • How well you handle questions.
  • How good different parts of your presentation are.
  • Overall how interesting you and your subject are.

Listen objectively to the feedback. Do not take it as personal criticism -- seek only ways you can improve. If there are many points, do not try to change everything at once -- it is usually better to improve a few things at a time.

Do note that this is one person's view and that people will have different perceptions (so seek these). One way that can help is to give a questionnaire to each member of the audience (useful for anonymous comment) or ask for email comments later.

Also look for positive feedback and praise. When you get this, feel good and know that you are doing well.

Example

I am giving a presentation at a training class where feedback forms are used. In starting out I ask if people at the back can hear me and read the slides. I also ask a few people in breaks 'how it's going' and if they'd like me to do anything differently.

Discussion

Although you can guess from body language what people are thinking, it is possible to get a lot more accurate and detailed information if you ask them.

There is always a danger when you ask for feedback that people will just try to be kind and praise you, or that they will say what they think you want them to say (which may amount to the same thing). If they know that you really welcome honest criticism and will not be upset then they are more likely to be truthful. It can also help if you ask somebody you know who appreciates this.

See also

Listen to yourself, Watch Yourself, Parts of the Presentation

 

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