In all of my public speaking workshops I emphasise the value and the importance of getting feedback, one way or the other, on your performance. One of my favorite quotes states that “Feedback is the food of champions” and it is the way we learn and grow. Feedback is important for several reasons. Feedback:-
- lets you know of areas where you may be able to improve
- can identify any problems or distracting behavior
- gives you an idea of how you are going from the audiences perspective, which is usually a lot better than you give yourself credit for
For feedback to be useful, it needs to be
There are many ways that you can get feedback including, video record yourself and watch it later, practice in front of a mirror and observe yourself and have a friend or audience member that you have briefed before your presentation to give you feedback.
Regardless of how you obtain the feedback, ensure it is specific, immediate, honest and actionable. It is no good asking someone “how was that”, or “what did you think”. You need to ask them before you speak to give you feedback on 1 or 2 particular aspects of your presentation that you wish to work on. Give them permission to be honest and let them know that you are aware of this problem and ask them for the feedback immediately after your presentation.
Every time you present or undertake some public speaking, use as an opportunity to grow and improve; use it as an opportunity to get open and honest feedback