Other People’s Feedback – Getting Better Through the Feedback of Others
Today I facilitated a presentations skills workshop with two talented professional speakers. After we covered different aspects of strong presentation skills, we had each attendee do a 5-minute presentation of their own. Of course my colleagues and I provided our feedback but before we did, we asked each of the attendees to state how they felt, comment on what they had done well and explain what they still wanted to work on. Then, we asked their fellow classmates to talk about what they thought went well and what their classmate could do better. In the next post, I’ll discuss a little about the self-evaluation but for today’s post, let’s talk about getting feedback from others – and in particular comments from those who haven’t studied presentation skills extensively.
Do People Who Haven’t Studies Presentation Skills Have Something to Offer in the Way of Feedback?
The short answer is YES!
Regardless of the amount of experience or the level of comfort that the members of the class today had with presentations skills, they have eyes, they have hearts , they had life experience and they can comment on what they liked, what confused them, and how they felt as a result of the five minute presentation. Just because someone hasn’t devoted dedicated time to studying the art and science of presentations doesn’t mean that he or she doesn’t have thoughtful meaningful, feedback to give.
Toastmasters has proven this fact for more than 80 years. One of the foundations of improving communications skills in the Toastmasters organization is the concept of peer coaching. (For more information about Toastmasters click on this link.) In a Toastmasters meeting, fellow club members give written and verbal feedback to fellow members who give prepared speeches. The Toastmasters program does a wonderful job of providing a venue for feedback. Is the feedback good? Not always. But with time and repetition, it absolutely helps people improve their skills.
We Can Learn From Others
The lesson here is that even if you don’t have the time or money for a presentation skills class, or to hire a coach or to join a Toastmasters club, you can get valuable feedback from others be they friends, family or colleagues. Take advantage of the wisdom and life experience of those you know. Seek their feedback as the ways you can improve your presentations.
What Have You Learned?
Do you agree? Have you learned great tips from peers? Share those below!