Giving and receiving feedback is an important part of presentations. Trust is an important factor when giving or receiving feedback. Trust allows both the giver and the receiver to be confident that the feedback will be given or accepted based on good intentions.
The most important part of receiving feedback is to not to become defensive or take it personally. Remember that the person giving feedback is trying to help and this is an opportunity to improve. Consider the following to make the most of your feedback:
- Be open and accepting. When you become defensive, you stop listening and miss out on an opportunity to learn.
- Listen openly to the feedback, trust that the feedback is given with good intentions.
- Ask questions to clarify. If you are not sure about any point, ask the person to be more specific about what you need to change or improve and what you should keep doing.
- You don’t need to agree with the feedback, but it’s still important to show respect.
- Remember that you are not perfect.
After receiving the feedback, thank the person for taking the time and interest to invest in your continued growth and improvement.
When giving feedback, it’s important to remember that your intent should be to help the other person. Good feedback should reinforce or compliment what was done well and bring the presenter’s attention to any areas that could use improvement.
- Try the sandwich approach for giving feedback. Start by stating what was done well then move to the areas that need to be improved. Finally, end with a positive. This method helps to ensure that the receiver of the message maintains confidence.
- Keep the feedback simple and focused on the action or the performance, not the person. Your suggestions should be helpful and relevant, give examples to help with understand.
- Try to give feedback as soon as possible after the delivery or event.
- When praising what was done well you can use the following expressions, “I’m impressed with the way you…”, “I really liked how you…” or “I really enjoyed…”
- When giving suggestions for areas of improvement, you can use the following expressions, “The one area that you might want to improve upon in your next presentation is…” or “To have a greater impact on your audience, you might want to…”