If you have ever given a presentation then you know how much time it takes to prepare, practice, and build it. After putting so much time and effort into your presentation, you at least want to feel like the audience enjoyed it. Perhaps you envisioned the audience laughing loudly at your jokes, clapping for your well-made points, or standing in applause at the end. In reality, however, the audience gave a quieter laugh, a tough-to-read stare, and a more subdued applause. After all of your hard work and efforts to deliver a powerful speech, you had no idea what the audience actually thought of it. The fact is, audiences will react in a number of different ways so there are many ways to measure the success of a presentation. Here are just a few things to keep in mind if you are wondering how your audience received your presentation.
How Did the Audience Act?
Keep in mind that your expectations for what the audience should do and what they actually do might be different, and that’s not always a bad thing. For example, you may have envisioned your audience sitting straight up and hanging intently on every word you spoke. While this might not have been the actual reaction, you still may have had a successful presentation if they were paying attention, taking notes, and asking questions. As long as the audience is engaging with you and giving their full attention as opposed to staring at their phone or walking out early, it’s safe to assume your presentation was a success.
You might not hear the words “Good job” but you might have audience members explain what they took away from your talk. This is far more significant than just a pat on the back. If people remark about how your talk made them feel or why they felt moved, you know you have made an impact.
They Asked You to Speak Again
If at the conclusion of your presentation a person walks up and asks you to speak at another engagement, this is a sure-fire sign that you nailed your presentation. You know you were fantastic if someone wants to spread your message. Likewise, if a boss or colleague asks you to present again in the near future, you can be assured that they are impressed with your presentation skills.
You Connect with People After the Presentation
After your presentation is over, if audience members seem eager to speak with you and share their own experiences, it’s a great sign that you connected with the audience on a personal level. When people talk about how your story reminded them of something in their own life, this is one of the best measures of presentation success because you know your presentation tugged at their heartstrings. They relate to you and your message.
Does the Audience Want More of You?
After a presentation, the audience will decide if they want to see and hear more or if they heard enough. If they enjoyed your presentation and want more of you they might follow you on Twitter, make a remark on your Facebook page, sign up for the newsletter, buy a copy of your book, or give you their business card. When the audience reaches out to you for more, it’s a good sign that they want to keep the relationship going.