April 19, 2007

Is audience feedback valuable to you?

I've written a couple of times about speaker evaluations, and I'd like to talk about that again today.

I was in a teleseminar this morning where the speaker was fairly interesting, and then toward the end, brought in some people to share their experiences with his topic. Each one went on and on speaking in glowing terms about the presenter and how much he had helped them, which made me a little uncomfortable. Then the worst part of the presentation: a ten minute commercial for an upcoming workshop that he described at length and droned on about until I finally hung up.

I don't know if he took questions; the teleseminar had already gone five minutes over when I hung up, so who knows if anyone stuck around to ask questions, or if anyone even cared by that point.

My point here, again, is that if you give out evaluations at the end of your presentations, you will have a pretty clear idea of what worked and what didn't. If you're doing a teleclass, send a link to a brief survey at, say, SurveyMonkey.com.

I use a 1-5 scale and ask people to share whether the presentation was interesting, whether they learned something new, whether they would recommend the presentation to others, and a couple other things.

I looked over Dan Poynter's evaluation the other day after a seminar. He asks some other interesting questions: Which topic or section was most useful? Which section was least useful? How else could the presentation be improved?

If more speakers gave out evaluations, perhaps I could share them here. But before Dan's evaluation, I can't remember the last time someone asked me what I thought.

As I mentioned in a previous post on evaluations, I'm not a slave to them. If one person out of 1,000 criticizes something, I'm less concerned than if 100 people all mention the same thing. It's important to me to know how I'm impacting my audience, for good or bad.

First of all, I wouldn't do a ten-minute commercial at the end of my presentation. But if I did, I'd want to know if it turned anyone off.

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2 comments. Please add yours! :

Anonymous said...

Another problem with the 10 minute commercial at the end of what you say is that that becomes what is remembered, not what your original topic was. Leave them remembering the most important thing you said - your main point stated pithily - by making that the last thing you say.

Lisa Braithwaite said...

Exactly! This speaker shared a lot of great info, but I walked away thinking "what a windbag."

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