How to get useful feedback at the end of your presentation (instead of blank stares)
21 November 2022
You’ve relayed the latest change in your highly prepared presentation.
You need feedback from your team so you end with:
You get absolutely nothing back. Only empty stares. ??️
So you ask them to send their thoughts. Maybe they just need a bit of time to think. However, they’re on to the next meeting and have totally forgotten about yours.
You go ahead anyway and risk their wrath: that’s when you do get their thoughts. They didn’t get their needs addressed and they’ll let you know about it.?
You remind them: “I did ask, but you didn’t say anything!”
If you give people a chance to think about it afterwards, you know what’ll happen? Nothing.
Why didn’t they say anything?
What is problematic, is that ‘thoughts?’ is too open a question to respond to. Thoughts to what exactly?
Often, when there’s a chance to hear someone else’s perspective, yours becomes clearer. For this reason, attendees need to see what more forthcoming people may think first before the discussion gathers any momentum.
However, you need to do this in a way that you don’t get the most vocal dominating the conversation.
In some situations, speaking up can leave people feeling vulnerable.
Yet they need thinking time so finding a simple, incremental way of discovering perspectives, allowing them to hear what others say and give their own views without feeling too exposed.
In that way, you can gather their thoughts before they leave the meeting.
To that end, here are 3 ways to open up feedback at the end of your presentation.
I’ve found this very useful with tech teams as it allows anonymous feedback.
It’s FREE and if you click present you’ll be able to share the results instantly.
Here’s how to set it up:
Here are the screen shots I refer to in the video:
Before revealing the ‘Open Ended’ slide, below, ask the question: “If you gave less than the total, what’s the difference between your mark and the total? If you gave 5/5 (or whatever your scoring is), what was the reason?”
Fist to Five
This is an anologue version of the Mentimeter scoring.
Ask your listeners to rate your idea by holding up their fingers.
Then follow up with the question:
“What would the difference be between a 3 (or any mark less than 5) and a 5? Include what you need to know before giving full marks.
Note: Whether you use the Mentimeter or ‘fist to five’, ask them to work in pairs or small groups.
This way participants have a chance to a) shape their thoughts through discussion and b) share them with the wider group without having to declare which view was theirs.
Pros and Cons list
Ask people to work together to list the advantages and disadvantages to your proposal.
From that, queries may emerge that will bring to light to any missing information or amendments you need to make.
As before, having people work in pairs or small groups allows more thinking time, encouraging the less vocal to have their opinions heard.
If your goal is to gather their perspectives, don’t expect them to do it once they’re away from the meeting.
Build in 10 minutes at the end and use ONE of the three methods above to collate their feedback.
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