One of the features of public speaking engagements is receiving feedback. Whatever the feedback, it is worthwhile taking some time reading this, to develop your skills.


Today I was delighted to receive feedback from a Talk on making an impact in meetings for the Meetings Show.

“I can tell you that your own presentation for Using your voice and physical presence to make an impact in meetings. scored 100% as excellent for both content and delivery!  Delegates also commented that they felt they would have benefitted from a longer session, which is praise indeed as they were obviously engrossed in the subject.”

I was obviously delighted; it is always so good to hear that the content of your talk has been of interest and invaluable to the audience.

But what happens if feedback isn’t as favourable, or a particular member of the audience is very critical in a negative way towards you? This can be tough: if you have put a lot of preparation and effort into delivering the speech, it can knock your confidence. There are techniques and ways to read feedback so that it becomes constructive, rather than “Ahh, I want to give up now!!” Here are my top tips.

  • Make yourself a cup of tea or coffee and relax!
  • Choose the time and place you read the feedback. If you read it immediately after giving a speech or training day, you will be tired, your adrenaline will drop and you are likely to take it personally rather than constructively.
  • Make a point of writing down all the positives in one column and all the ‘constructive criticism’ in another column.
  • Celebrate all of the positives.
  • When you read the critical feedback, take it on the chin. There might be something of value in the feedback that could make your speech better.
  • Try not to take it personally; take a step back and be grateful someone has taken the time to give you some advice.
  • Act upon the feedback; if there is something you could change to improve your speaking skills, do it!
  • Occasionally there are other motivations for people giving feedback; from a member of the audience that doesn’t want to be there, and is therefore grumpy, they might be having a bad day, or they are cross they weren’t ask to speak. There are any number of reasons for someone being spiteful. Whilst I’m not saying that you should approach all less than favourable feedback as not valuable, it is worthwhile being aware of different people’s motivations for giving feedback.

Good luck with this! And if you would like me to speak at your event: whether it be a lunch time learning event at a corporate organisation, evening event, conference or exhibition, please contact me and look at my public speaking page.

Managing feedback from speaking engagements is part of the process of public speaking. When you are able to do this in a constructive way, your skills and confidence will grow. This is one of the essential skills included in the Public Speaking Course for individuals and Public Speaking workshops for teams. Contact me to discuss your requirements.

The post Speaking Feedback appeared first on The Executive Voice Speaking Coach.

About the author

Susan Heaton Wright is a former opera singer who works with successful individuals and teams to make an impact with their voices and physical presence. Using her experience in using the voice and performing on stage, she works with people to improve their performances in a range of business situations; from meeting skills and on the telephone, to public speaking, presentations and appearing on the media.

Related Posts