Presentation Skills Training: What Feedback Technique is Right for Me?

Presentation Skills Training: What Feedback Technique is Right for Me?

Feedback is essential, but for too many people, it means criticism.

At Simply Amazing Training we work with business professionals, helping them to bring out their best selves. One of the ways to do this is to know where we can develop and improve – be that when presenting to teams and customers or working with others on a day-to-day basis. Feedback is an essential part of continual improvement for us and many others. When it comes to feedback, we recommend using the Feedback Sandwich and in this blog we offer a few other ideas too – the more approaches you have the more chance of success, right? But first, we want to talk about some of the reasons why people take feedback in a negative way and explore a few techniques that we find effective with the hope that they may be valuable to you!

The best place to get to is a mind-set where you really love feedback, and see it as a gift from the person giving it –yes, that really is possible! In our presentation skills training, we believe that there is no failure, only feedback. What is a mistake, anyway? It’s just something we didn’t plan, didn’t prepare, and maybe, would prefer not to happen. If you can believe this statement as true, it means you have never failed in the past and never will in the future. How refreshing is that?

Don’t Like Receiving Feedback?

Feedback can either be external – from your audience, friends and colleagues; or internal – you can give yourself feedback. Unless you have been ‘Taming Your Public Speaking Monkeys’ (see our book of the same name), you may take feedback from others in a negative way and the feedback you give yourself is likely to be unbalanced and too harsh. As you may know from our presentation training courses, once the monkeys are on your side, you’ll be able to hear feedback in a balanced way, realising how helpful it is.

Being able to receive and act upon feedback is so important to career progression and success; just because someone has been speaking in public for 20 years for example, that doesn’t mean they’re good at it. If they haven’t received (or taken on board) any feedback, they’ve merely been practising the same thing for 20 years – and as we say practice does not make perfect practice makes permanent! So only practice once you know you are doing the right things.

Feedback Techniques

We recommend getting into the habit of using the Feedback Sandwich technique. The Feedback Sandwich gives you the ability to feedback either to yourself or others in a way that feels nice. If giving feedback is what you find challenging, watch our video on giving feedback in a way that feels nice.

Here’s how it’s done:

  • Make an overall positive comment about something specific that went really well
  • Note up to three things that would make it even better next time
  • End with an overall positive comment about the person themselves

The reaction you decide to take in response to feedback is a small link in the chain, but a very important one. Your choices are:

  • Do nothing (if you don’t agree with it)
  • Take it on board, and change something
  • Get upset by it

However, getting overly upset about feedback is unlikely to lead to any positive changes. So, it’s important to find out what works for you as there are other techniques that can help you receive feedback in a valuable way too.

Adult to Adult Feedback

Have you ever felt defensive when receiving feedback? This might be why! Adult to adult feedback is when instead of saying what someone did wrong, insinuating another person is at fault for their actions, the person giving feedback will simply say how the persons actions made them feel. This can be beneficial in feedback environments where emotions run high and people start to feel like they are being ‘attacked’. It removes a sense of blame and conflict because people are no longer pointing fingers. Instead, they are discussing their feelings in a mature manner hence why it is called ‘adult to adult.

360 Degree Feedback

Another feedback technique that can be beneficial for a more holistic overview of performance is ‘360-degree feedback’. 360-degree feedback groups together multiple sources (often anonymously) to provide a diverse range of feedback to the individual from team members, reports, clients and managers.

This will enable the person receiving the feedback to gain a holistic overview of what their key strengths are, what they can do to improve and what they could do differently. 360-degree feedback also encourages the individual to gather feedback on themselves which helps to bridge the gap between how the individual feels things are going in comparison to others.

How Can We Help?

One of the things we like to think that Simply Amazing Training does really well is respond to feedback and constantly strive to improve. That doesn’t mean we bend with every suggestion ever made, but we evaluate all feedback without bias and decide what the best approach for our audience or client would be. This continual improvement approach has helped us to stay ahead of the curve and receive over 22 business awards.

At Simply Amazing Training we offer professional presentation skills training courses for companies and individuals. We believe feedback is crucial for continuous development and longer lasting learning. Whether its face-to-face presentations or you want to improve your virtual delivery, our skills training courses offer live and/or video reviews to enable you and your teams to receive constructive feedback and practice actioning that feedback immediately. Our flexible and tailored approach gives the chance to find out what presentation and feedback style really works for you.

Team training with personality profiles

If you are unsure what feedback techniques work for you Simply Amazing Training also offers Insights Discovery (colours) personality profiles; this uses a simple, effective and usable model to understand an individual’s unique preferences, and those of the team. This can help encourage the team to be more open to feedback generally and identify what feedback techniques work for you and others in the team. Your team’s ability to give and receive quality, constructive feedback will improve and ultimately positively impact results.

Personality profiling allows for feedback to become more tailored and thus more impactful. And because we all have differing styles, what works for some may not work for others. If you want to give you or your team even more tools to be successful or fancy a change of pace for your conference or virtual team meeting, then get in touch. We deliver “colourful” interactive workshops on Insights Discovery which are tailored to your needs and leave participants feeling inspired.

Posted by Dee Clayton on 15 Sep 2014

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