PodiumWise | Tips for advanced presentation skills

Think of the last time you delivered a presentation.  Did you ask your associates for feedback on how you did?

I can predict with 99% certainty the answer you received.  “Great!”

It’s the universal, one-word answer all associates give when asked to critique a co-worker’s presentation.  You can stumble all the way through your message and the critique will still be “Great!”  It’s assumed you are just seeking reassurance and the appropriate thing to do is provide some.  “Great!” is that standard answer in the same way that “Fine” is that standard answer to “How are you doing?”

The problem, of course, is that you don’t receive feedback that could be helpful.  You may be doing or saying something that is distracting audiences and you’re the only one who doesn’t know it.

Consider approaching a trusted associate in advance of your next presentation and telling him or her that you would greatly appreciate feedback afterward.  You might even specify that you are looking for one thing they believe you could do better.  A simple request like this, in advance, is usually all it takes to generate something helpful.  Your associate will understand that you are looking for something more than reassurance and that you are prepared to receive it.

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