While you are rehearsing your talk, you'll want to be sure to solicit feedback from family and colleagues. Following you talk, be sure to debrief the presentation as well.
In a public speaking course, you will have the advantage of receiving feedback from skilled evaluators including your instructor. Your professor has been given specific training in watching and evaluating talks and is likely to offer you balanced, specific, and constructive criticism. Solicit this!
In addition, you will probably have your presentation videotaped. Watch it at least three times. The first viewing will not be friendly for you will likely see all the physical characteristics that you don't like about your delivery or your appearance. Most speakers dislike their voices, their movements, their hair and their weight when they watch the videotapes. This is normal! Watch the video again!
The second time that you view your video, you will likely notice that you don't appear to be as nervous as you were feeling. Looking composed is a positive thing! Seek to get past your delivery and notice how well you engage your audience with genuine, positive, and organized manner.
When you watch your video a third time, you are likely to begin to see yourself in the same way that your audience saw you. This is a more objective and useful tool for assessing your presentation.
It is useful to solicit feedback from your classmates as well. Learn from them how well you adapted your talk to meet their specific expectations and needs. Ask for both positive feedback and suggestions for future improvements.
At http://www.si.umich.edu/~pne/PDF/howtotalk.pdf Paul N. Edwards of the University of Michigan offers “How to Give an Academic Talk” where he begins with an amusing description of the “awful academic talk” (“you’ve seen it a hundred times,” he says). Scroll toward the end for practical tips on getting feedback in “Notice Your Audience and Respond to its Needs.” He also addresses rules of thumb, PowerPoint issues, time limits, and how to emulate excellent speakers.
|Click here to prepare a self-assessment of your presentation.|