There is no failure, only feedback.
Accepting constructive feedback doesn’t come naturally to everyone. So how do you turn receiving it from a negative into your most powerful ally?
What is Feedback?
Feedback in this context is one or more people sharing their reactions to a person’s presentation. This can involve coaching (here’s how to do things differently), evaluation (current method analysed), or simply appreciation. The first two are absolutely vital for anyone wanting to improve their presentations.
The Positive Effects of Constructive Criticism
You never stop learning. Every presentation is a learning opportunity, and every feedback on your presentation will help you get one step further on the road to becoming an exceptional presenter.
Here are just some of the benefits of receiving feedback:
- Get insights on what works and doesn’t, so you can fix it for future presentations.
- Help you connect with your colleagues by encouraging a culture of mutual growth and development.
- Feedback is a powerful motivator. Imagine that you are bowling and a screen descends just as your ball is about to hit the pins. If you don’t see the results of your efforts, you’ll quickly stop caring and not want to play at all.
Fearing criticism is fearing progress
You know that feedback is crucial but receiving it isn’t always evident. Here are some common errors to avoid when on the receiving end of feedback:
- Seek it out. Take control of your learning by requesting candid feedback from your colleagues.
- Don’t wait until the day before a big presentation to get feedback. Request feedback often. This will also help you get used to receiving it.
- Don’t just ask your friends, ask the hyper-critical colleague you’re scared of! If you want to feel bullet-proof before a presentation, then you need to hear negative as well as positive responses.
- Try not to react emotionally to critical observations. Instead, learn from it and develop your own emotional intelligence.
- Be curious and ask questions. If any comment lacks clarity, ask for more details instead of puzzling over it.
- Separate yourself from your work. The feedback isn’t personal, it’s a reflection on the impact of your presentation.
- Don’t take it all to heart. As you grow, you will learn which feedback to take on board, and which feedback to dismiss. After all, you won’t always be able to please everyone. Ultimately, you must develop your own inner critical voice too.
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