Whether it was anxiously waiting for my grades in school, my performance
assessments at work, or my formal speech evaluations with
Toastmasters, I have learned the value of the gift of feedback; it is a
constant process that should never stop. As a speaker, you need to get
evaluations from your audience. It is also important to get them immediately,
while they are fresh in people’s minds. You must have thick
skin because even the best speakers get critical feedback.
We should ask for evaluations because we care. We care about getting
better, and we care that our messages are getting through to the
audience simply and memorably. We should be looking for trends and
patterns. Be careful not to get locked into one comment or particular
score; however, take each comment and score as a learning opportunity,
and ask yourself what you did right and what can be improved.
If you videotaped the event, you can have a targeted approach to what
the evaluators may have been saying. If not, revisit in your mind what
sections of the presentation the evaluations may be referencing, and
take action to get better.
If I am not in a position for a formal evaluation, I still make it a habit
to ask attendees what they thought of the presentation afterward.
The questions shouldn’t be, “Did you like it?” They should be more
open-ended: “What was your favorite part?” and “If I could improve
one or two things, what would they be?” Your self-esteem should never
take a beating after an evaluation. However, your self-improvement
antennae should be perked up. Your payback comes in the form of an
even better presentation for your next audience.
Thomas B. Dowd III’s books available in softcover, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only):
- Now What? The Ultimate Graduation Gift for Professional Success
- Time Management Manifesto: Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance
- Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work
- The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World
- From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide received the Gold Medal at the 2013 Axiom Business Book Awards in Business Reference
- The Unofficial Guide to Fatherhood
See “Products” for details on www.transformationtom.com. Book, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only) purchase options are also available on Amazon- Please click the link to be re-directed: Amazon.com