It has been said that communication without feedback is meaningless. While it might not always be easy to take criticism, it is necessary if you want to be a better presenter. Audience feedback is an important tool for understanding what you did well and where you need to improve. Feedback plays a critical role in helping you develop and grow as a speaker. Let’s take a look at some effective means for gathering audience feedback.
Observe Audience Reaction
This is something that is done during the delivery of the presentation. Pay attention to things like the responsiveness of the audience and the level of participation. Is your audience looking down at their phone or are their eyes focused on you? When you ask questions, does your audience raise their hands to answer them? Does your audience look engaged, confused, or bored? These little clues will help you to know if your presentation is on the right track or if you need to make some changes. If you are too busy presenting to pay attention to these things, ask a friend to help take notes of the audience’s reaction during the presentation.
Distribute a Checklist
Another way to gather feedback is by creating a written checklist of all of the goals you want to accomplish. Be sure to include clear and concise goals so it’s easy for the audience to understand. Distribute the checklist at the end of the presentation and ask the audience to fill it out and drop it in a box on their way out. This is a great way to get feedback while it’s still fresh in everyone’s minds. You are also more likely to get more people to participate since this type of feedback form is so quick and easy to fill out.
Create a Custom Feedback Form
The checklist is a great way to gather quick feedback, but it doesn’t give the audience a chance to provide detailed information about the presentation. In order to get more detailed information, you can create a custom feedback form with open-ended questions. Examples of questions include, “What value did you receive from this presentation?”, “How could this session have been more valuable to you?”, “What did you like best/least about this presentation?” These open-ended questions will solicit useful feedback about your strengths and weaknesses.
Use Presentation Feedback Tools
Many people don’t want to give you feedback face-to-face and they might not have time to fill out forms right after the presentation. You can give people a chance to provide feedback at another time by using a presentation feedback app. There are a number of apps that are useful for gathering audience feedback and they can provide comments anonymously. With today’s constant on-the-schedule, many people will appreciate the convenience of being able to provide feedback through an app.