I recently presented two sessions at Music City Tech and just received my feedback. I got great feedback and looks like I did a great job. WooHoo! It’s always nice to have your own version of what happened in your sessions validated.
Getting feedback on sessions is how we learn, as speakers, to become better speakers. I must admit that I haven’t always felt this way. When I got feedback on my very first speaking engagement I initially took it personally and became very defensive. After some reflection, I reviewed it again a few days later and realized a few things: Not everyone learns the same way, has the same background I do nor do they have the same goals.
I know not everyone reads the abstract/description of a session, they see the title and think it sounds interesting. When I start a session I like to lay out expectations so the attendees know what to expect. This helps me out when asking attendees for feedback but it also helps attendees understand what they most likely will (and won’t) learn in my session. I have found that in doing this I’m less likely to receive negative feedback (because the attendee had different expectations) and the attendee is more likely to have a positive experience.
With that said, here are the summary numbers from my two sessions at Music City Tech.
Overall I did pretty good. But when I look at the details, I see an area that I could have definitely improved.
It’s funny too, because in my Data Types Do Matter session, I specifically cut out my war stories to make my normally 60-75 minute session fit into 50 minutes. As I said, people learn in different ways.
So my lesson here is that people like the stories from the trenches, they make it more relatable. Next time, I’ll be sure to include at least one war story to help hit the concept home.