By clicking “Accept”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.
Preferences
Meeting Tips

How to Give Feedback on Presentation (Step by Step Guide)

Published
April 5, 2024
Read time
7
Min Read
Last updated
April 8, 2024
Anika Jahin
How to Give Feedback on Presentation (Step by Step Guide)
Table of contents
Share article:

Presentations can be a powerful tool to inform, persuade, or inspire. But let's be honest, they can also be nerve-wracking experiences. You pour your heart and soul into crafting the content, but the real test lies in how it resonates with your audience.

Did your message land? Were you able to communicate key points effectively? The answer often hinges on one crucial element: presentation feedback.

Here's the thing: Feedback isn't just about pointing out flaws. It's a double-edged sword that can elevate your presentation skills and drive you towards becoming a confident and impactful presenter. 

Constructive feedback provides valuable insights that can help you refine your delivery, strengthen your content, and connect with your audience on a deeper level. Presentation feedback acts as a mirror, reflecting our strengths and weaknesses and empowering us to continuously hone our craft.

But how do you ensure you're giving and receiving feedback that's truly helpful? This blog will equip you with the tools to navigate the feedback process effectively. 

Characteristics of Effective Feedback

Not all feedback is created equal. Effective feedback is a carefully crafted message that provides clear direction for improvement while fostering a positive learning environment.

Here are the key characteristics that define effective feedback on presentations:

(1) Specific

Ditch vague comments like "good job" or "it needs work". Instead, pinpoint specific aspects of the presentation that were strong and areas where improvement is possible.

For example, "Instead of saying 'your slides were a bit crowded,' you could offer: 'The information on slide 5 seems overwhelming. Consider breaking it down into two slides or using bullet points to improve readability.'"

Another example of effective feedback might be: "The data you presented on target audience demographics was clear and well-organized (positive note).

However, consider briefly explaining how this data will be used to tailor the campaign message for different audience segments (actionable suggestion)."

(2) Actionable

Good feedback goes beyond simply identifying issues. It provides concrete suggestions for improvement.

Instead of saying, "Your body language seemed stiff," offer actionable advice like "Focusing on maintaining eye contact with different audience members can help project confidence and connect with the audience on a more personal level."

(3) Respectful

Remember, the goal is to provide constructive criticism, not tear someone down. Maintain a respectful and encouraging tone.

Phrase your feedback in a way that focuses on the presentation itself, not the presenter's personality.

(4) Future-Oriented

Effective feedback should be focused on something other than past mistakes. Frame your suggestions in a way that guides the presenter towards future presentations.

(5) Balanced

While constructive criticism is important, don't neglect to acknowledge the presenter's strengths.

A positive note at the beginning or end of your feedback can create a more receptive environment and reinforce positive behaviors.

Giving Feedback Like a Pro: A Step-By-Step Guide

So, you're ready to provide effective feedback on a presentation, but where do you begin? 

This step-by-step guide will equip you with the tools to deliver clear, actionable feedback that is ultimately well-received.

Step 1: Preparation

Before diving headfirst into feedback, take a moment to familiarize yourself with the context of the presentation. Review the presentation material beforehand, focusing on the topic, objectives, and key messages the presenter aimed to convey.

Understanding the presenter's goals allows you to tailor your feedback for maximum impact.

Step 2: Active Observation

Shift your mindset from passive observer to active listener. Pay close attention to the presenter's delivery, both verbal and nonverbal.

This includes:

  • Content: Is the information clear, concise, and well-organized? Does it effectively support the key points?
  • Delivery: Is the pace appropriate? Does the presenter use vocal variety to keep the audience engaged?
  • Visual Aids: Are the slides visually appealing and easy to understand? Do they complement the spoken content or create distractions?
  • Body Language: Does the presenter maintain good posture and eye contact with the audience? Does their body language convey confidence and enthusiasm?

Step 3: The Feedback Framework

Now for the heart of the matter: delivering your feedback!

Here's a framework to ensure your message is clear and constructive:

(1) Set the Stage

Briefly acknowledge the topic and objectives of the presentation. This helps the presenter understand the context within which you're providing feedback.

(2) Specificity is Crucial

Avoid vague comments. Instead, highlight specific aspects of the presentation that were effective and areas for improvement.

For example, "The opening story did a great job of grabbing the audience's attention (positive note). However, some of the technical terminology on the following slides might have been confusing for a non-specialist audience (actionable suggestion)."

(3) The Positive Sandwich

Frame your feedback with a positive note. Compliment the presenter on something they did well before offering constructive criticism. This creates a more receptive environment for feedback.

(4) Open-Ended Questions

Don't just tell; prompt discussion. Use open-ended questions to encourage the presenter to reflect on their delivery and explore potential improvements.

For example, "How did you feel the audience responded to that particular statistic?"

(5) Focus on the Future

Instead of dwelling on what went wrong, frame your feedback in a way that guides the presenter towards future presentations.

For example, "Consider adding a real-world example to illustrate that point for your next audience."

(6) Delivery Matters

Remember, even the most valuable feedback can fall flat if delivered poorly. Maintain a respectful and encouraging tone, and avoid accusatory language.

Focus on providing helpful suggestions for improvement.

(7) Consider the Audience

Tailoring your feedback to the audience can also be beneficial. If you're providing feedback to a colleague for a client presentation, your focus might be on the clarity and persuasiveness of the message.

For internal presentations, you might emphasize the organization and flow of the content.

Receiving Feedback Gracefully: A Practical Guide

So you've just delivered a presentation, and now comes the feedback.

While constructive criticism can feel daunting, it's actually a gift – a valuable opportunity to identify areas for improvement and elevate your presentation skills. But how do you ensure you receive feedback with grace and a growth mindset?

Here are some practical tips to help you navigate the process effectively:

(1) Maintain a Positive Attitude

It's natural to feel defensive when receiving feedback, especially if it's critical. However, resist the urge to get discouraged.

Remember, the goal is to learn and grow. Approach the feedback session with an open mind and a willingness to listen. Thank the person for their time and effort, and express your genuine interest in their insights.

(2) Active Listening is Key

Don't just hear the feedback; actively listen. Pay close attention to the specific points being raised. Ask clarifying questions if needed to ensure you fully understand the feedback.

Taking notes can also be helpful to remember key points for later reflection. If taking notes manually feels distracting and difficult, consider utilizing AI note-taking assistants like Wudpecker.

Wudpecker's AI features automatically transcribe meetings and generate summaries, capturing key points and decisions. This will free you from the burden of note-taking, allowing you to fully engage in the discussion. 

(3) Separate Feedback from Emotion

It's easy to take feedback personally. However, try to separate the feedback from your own emotions.

Focus on the content of the message, not the delivery. Remember, the feedback is about the presentation, not you as a person.

(4) Identify Actionable Items

As you listen to the feedback, identify specific, actionable items you can work on to improve your future presentations.

This might involve refining your content structure, incorporating new visual aids, or practicing your delivery techniques.

(5) Don't Try to Defend Yourself

The urge to defend your choices is understandable but resist it. Instead, acknowledge the feedback and take time to process it later.

You can always ask follow-up questions for clarification, but avoid getting into a defensive debate.

(6) Express Gratitude

Thank the person for their feedback, regardless of whether it's positive or critical. Their willingness to share their insights is a valuable asset to your growth as a presenter.

(7) Reflect and Refine

Once you've received the feedback, take some time to reflect on it. Consider which points resonate most and identify areas where you can make improvements.

Develop a plan to incorporate the actionable items into your presentation skills development strategy.

Enhancing Presentation Skills Through Feedback

We've established that presentation feedback is a powerful tool for improvement. But how exactly can you leverage this feedback to enhance your presentation skills and become a more confident and impactful communicator? 

Here are some ways to turn feedback into action:

Self-Evaluation and Targeted Feedback

Seeking feedback doesn't have to be a one-time event. Develop a habit of self-evaluation after each presentation. Consider areas where you felt strong and areas where you could improve.

Based on your self-assessment, identify specific aspects you'd like to get targeted feedback on from colleagues or mentors. This targeted approach allows you to delve deeper into specific skills and receive focused insights.

Embrace Diverse Feedback Sources

Don't limit yourself to feedback from just one or two people. Seek feedback from a diverse audience whenever possible.

This could include colleagues, managers, clients, or even friends and family who witnessed your presentation.

Each person will have a unique perspective, offering valuable insights into how your message resonated with different audience members.

Leverage Technology

Technology can be a powerful tool for gathering feedback. Consider using online feedback forms or survey tools to collect anonymous feedback from a wider audience.

You can also record your presentations and watch them back to identify areas for improvement in areas like pacing, body language, and vocal variety.

Practice Makes Progress

Once you've identified areas for improvement based on feedback, it's time to put that knowledge into action!

Practice your delivery with a focus on the specific skills you're working on.

Role-play with a colleague, record yourself practicing, or join a public speaking group to gain experience and refine your presentation style.

Consistency Is Key

Remember, presentation skills don't develop overnight. The key to becoming a confident and impactful presenter lies in consistent effort and dedication.

Integrate feedback into your ongoing development plan, actively seek opportunities to present, and continuously strive to refine your craft.

Conclusion

Presentations can be powerful tools for informing, persuading, and inspiring, but mastering the art of delivery takes dedication and continuous improvement.

This blog has equipped you with the knowledge to harness the power of presentation feedback. You've learned how to provide clear, actionable feedback that empowers presenters, and you've explored strategies for receiving feedback with grace and a growth mindset.

Remember, the journey to becoming a captivating presenter is an ongoing process. Embrace the power of feedback, actively seek opportunities to practice, and never stop refining your skills.

By consistently seeking improvement, you'll transform those nervous presentation jitters into the confidence and clarity needed to deliver truly impactful presentations that resonate with any audience.

FAQs

What Is an Example of Feedback on a Presentation?

Scenario: You listened to a presentation on the benefits of switching to a new project management software. 

Here's how you could provide constructive feedback:

Positive Aspects:

  • Clear Introduction: "The introduction did a great job of grabbing the audience's attention by highlighting the common pain points associated with traditional project management methods. It effectively set the stage for the presentation."

Areas for Improvement:

  • Visual Aids: "The slides felt a bit text-heavy at times. Consider incorporating more visuals like charts, graphs, or even screenshots to illustrate the features and benefits of the new software."
  • Content Depth: "While you covered the key features of the software, it might be beneficial to delve deeper into how it addresses specific challenges faced by different user groups within the company (e.g., project managers vs. team members)."

Actionable Suggestions:

  • "For your next presentation, you could try including a short demo of the software in action to showcase its user-friendliness."
  • "Consider adding a slide that compares the new software to existing options, highlighting its unique advantages."

How Do You Comment on a Good Presentation?

Here are some ways to comment on a good presentation:

Highlight Specific Strengths:

  • Content: "The information you presented was clear, concise, and well-organized. It was easy to follow and understand." (focuses on clarity and structure)
  • Oral Presentation: "You delivered the presentation with great enthusiasm and confidence. Your use of vocal variety kept the audience engaged." (highlights delivery skills)
  • Visual Aids: "The slides were visually appealing and effectively complemented your spoken points. They were easy to read and understand." (focuses on visuals)
  • Structure: "The flow of the presentation was logical and well-paced. You transitioned smoothly between topics and kept the audience engaged throughout." (highlights structure and audience engagement)

Focus on Impact:

  • "Your presentation was very informative and insightful. I learned a lot about [topic]."
  • "You did a great job capturing the audience's attention and keeping them engaged throughout the presentation."
  • "Your presentation was well-organized and easy to follow. I felt like I had a clear understanding of the key points."
  • "I particularly enjoyed [specific aspect of the presentation, e.g., the real-world example you used, the humor you incorporated]."

Positive and Encouraging Tone:

  • "Overall, it was a very impressive presentation. Well done!"
  • "I can tell you put a lot of effort into this presentation, and it showed. Great job!"
  • "Thank you for sharing your insights with us. It was a very informative presentation."
  • "I look forward to seeing more presentations from you in the future."

Remember:

  • Be genuine and specific in your compliments. Make sure you are giving constructive feedback.
  • Tailor your comments to the presenter and the presentation content.
  • Focus on both the delivery and the content itself.
  • End with a positive feedback and encouraging note.

How Do You Give Peer Feedback to a Presentation?

Here are some things to keep in mind when giving peer feedback on presentation:

Before the Feedback:

  • Preparation: Review the presentation topic and objectives beforehand (if available) to understand the presenter's goals.
  • Mindset: Approach the feedback with a positive and helpful attitude.

Delivering the Feedback:

  • Start Positive: Start by acknowledging the presenter's effort and highlighting your observed strength.
  • Specificity is Key: Focus on specific aspects of the presentation, both positive and areas for improvement. Avoid vague comments.
  • Actionable Suggestions: Don't just point out problems; offer suggestions for improvement. Use "I" statements to frame your feedback (e.g., "I found the opening story engaging. Perhaps adding a visual element could enhance it further").
  • Respectful Tone: Maintain a respectful and encouraging tone throughout the feedback session.
  • Focus on the Future: Frame your suggestions in a way that guides the presenter towards future presentations.
  • Open-Ended Questions: Consider asking open-ended questions to encourage discussion and reflection (e.g., "How did you feel the audience responded to that statistic?").

Here’s an Example of How You Might Structure Your Feedback:

"Thanks for the presentation, [presenter's name]. I really enjoyed the way you [positive aspect, e.g., explained the technical details clearly and concisely]. I noticed that [area for improvement, e.g., some of the slides seemed text-heavy]. Perhaps you could consider [actionable suggestion, e.g., using bullet points or visuals to break up the text]."

Additional Tips for Constructive Feedback:

  • Tailor Your Feedback: Consider the audience and purpose of the presentation when providing feedback.
  • Be Mindful of Time: Keep your feedback concise and focused on the most important points.
  • Offer to Help: If you have specific skills or resources that could benefit the presenter, offer your help.
  • Welcome Questions: Encourage the presenter to ask clarifying questions or seek further feedback.
Automatic quality online meeting notes
Try Wudpecker for free
Dashboard
How to Give Feedback on Presentation (Step by Step Guide)
Min Read
How to Give Feedback on Presentation (Step by Step Guide)
Min Read
How to Give Feedback on Presentation (Step by Step Guide)
Min Read
arrow
arrow

Read more