Get Feedback on Your Presentation – Even If You Have to Get Creative to Get It!
I’m a member of an advanced Toastmasters club in Atlanta called the Speakers Roundtable Advanced Toastmasters club. Everyone in the club either at a certain level within Toastmasters, or they are a professional speaker or trainer.
I will often practice a portion of a speech in front of my fellow Toastmasters before I deliver it to my client audience. I’m always amazed and appreciative of the great feedback they give me and I know it makes me a better speaker.
Everyone can benefit from practicing in front of a friend, trusted colleague or a professional coach before delivering an important presentation. Getting feedback is such an important thing that I’d suggest you get creative in finding ways to practice and receive feedback on a presentation.
Here are a few that I’ve used with clients.
Obviously face-to-face rehearsal, preferably in front of a group, is the best way to get feedback on your speech. In addition to soliciting specific feedback, you can also read the body language of those watching the rehearsal and see if they reacted in the same way that you thought an audience would react. But even if you don’t have a group, delivering the presentation to one person who is will to provide honest commentary and helpful suggestions will ultimately help you improve your important presentation.
Take it one more step by recording your practice session using a video camera and/or audio recorder. The camera doesn’t lie. You can take the feedback you receive and compare it to the actual recording. Priceless!
Set up a time, get on Skype with your colleague or coach, and practice your presentation via you web cam. Yes, it might be a little jittery at times, but it is a good substitute for when you can’t be in the same room.
Ecamm makes a recording software for Skype for the Mac that you can download at
http://www.ecamm.com/mac/callrecorder/. I find it easy to use and it has some cool features to make the most of the recording. Plus at $19.95, it’s a great bargin!
I know of at least one other recording software for the PC called Super Tin Tin. I’ve not used it so I can’t vouch for it. It’s $29.95 and available at http://www.supertintin.com/.
Again record the session so you can see with your own eyes how you did and can evaluate the feedback from your colleague or coach.
Record a practice session (or even a live presentation) and burn it on to a DVD to give to your coach or colleague for feedback. And be sure to watch it yourself too!
New in the world of creative solutions to receive feedback is a company called Presentation Gym. They’ve partnered up with several professional presentation coaches – myself included – to offer those who are serious about practicing their presentations a place to do a presentation workout. There are fees involved, but you can get great feedback from people who study the art and science of presentations for a living.
The way it works is clients practice their presentation in front of their web camera, upload the video and their slides to the site. There’s a self-evaluation portion and resources available through the site to learn more. Then a coach provides you written feedback to help you improve even further.
One of the other great feedbacks of Presentation Gym is that they’re global. They have coaches from the US, Germany, Spain, Luxembourg, England, Turkey, Sweden, Netherlands, Australia, Hong Kong and France – and are working to add a few more countries as well. So if you’ve got an important presentation outside the US, Presentation Gym gives you the chance to get culturally sensitive feedback too. You can check out Presentation Gym at http://presentationgym.net.
YouTube gives you the ability to upload video and make it private so that only you and those you designate using their emails or YouTube user names can view the video. Of course you may need editing software to break longer presentations into shorter clips as you may be limited to clips of 15 minutes or less. But YouTube can be a viable alternative to get the feedback you need to make your presentation better.
Have you come up with another way to get feedback on your presentation? What have you tried? Please share with us all in the comment section!!