In my profession, feedback from others, persons we work with, train, or provide consultations have a huge impact on our performance dossiers as well as for our own development.
Some of the activities we are provided feedback for are not a part of our education or training (such as presentations), thus we only learn it by trial, failure, trial again. Some people are naturally gifted, yet for others it is along journey.
Presentations are tricky in the sense that the presenter is not only supposed to know things, but also assess the previous knowledge of the audience, build on top of it, attract their attention, clearly convey the message, and able to answer the questions the audience may have. The slides should be very clear and well organized, too.
Today, I have got a very positive feedback for one of my educational presentations. I am so happy and excited about this. Considering how hard it was to arrive this point for me, you can understand my excitement.
I have been giving educational presentations for 6 years now. As I have said it is not a part of my formal education and even though I liked talking about the things I know, clearly I was not as good as I thought I was; at the beginning I have got such negative comments that I was disappointed in myself, quite shaken, I had to forget what I thought I knew, and re-build myself as a presenter from scratch.
I made use of the written feedback I have got.
I consulted my colleagues.
I searched the internet and read material about effective presentations.
I had casual conversations with the audience and learnt one or two tips.
I spent hours on my slides.
I prepared extra material to be distributed during the presentation to enhance learning.
I added extra slides for information that may be useful to present should someone who is not familiar with the subject matter was curious.
Every time I did present; I had a hard look, contemplated, digested the feedback, put an effort.
Most importantly, I learnt to ask myself whether I would understand this presentation if I was an audience (I found this one particularly effective).
And, each year my performance as a presenter improved.
Especially in the last two years – the leap I have made is more than satisfactory. Now that I am consistently getting highly positive feedback means I really have some skills now work well, across many different audience.
So next time you have got a negative comment or feedback on your performance, take a breath and listen. Think. Evaluate. Re-build if you must. Get ideas and integrate them. Make it a priority for you to achieve. Try. And enjoy the pleasure coming out of your efforts.
cheers everyone 🙂