How to gather feedback from speaking engagements

Estimated read time: 2 minutes

I very much enjoy flying around the globe to spread the authentic storytelling message. It’s worth it and I hope I can make an impact. I’m also always interested in what the audience overall thought.

Many times the organizers take care of surveys and gather feedback. Sometimes, they do it through paper surveys, an app or some other tool. Sometimes it’s hard to actually get a look at the ratings or it’s weeks before they are shared. I have a short attention span. LOL.

Those different ways and platforms to gather feedback all have their own advantages and disadvantages. Personally, I’ve found success with paper surveys – but of course  I would then have to hand out paper surveys – which can be difficult with audiences of a few hundred people.

I’ve started adding this slide to presentations – especially when organizers  aren’t vocal about surveys.
As you can see, I ask the audience to text me to give me feedback. I’ve noticed that almost 25 percent of attendees usually text. It’s quite awesome because it’s so instant.

Here’s a sampling from a speaking gig in Iowa in 2015.

I’m almost starting to think that real-time (during the session) ratings might be helpful for speakers. They might give us the chance to correct a not-so-good presentation and keep going with something the audience is enjoying.

It could be distracting, too, for sure. I do know that getting the instantaneous feedback right after the session is great and validates that the message is worth sharing and was openly received by attendees.

I’d encourage speakers to try it when possible. I literally just listed my own cell phone number for the survey slide.

“Don’t be shy. I have unlimited texting,” is what I told the audience – which usually gets me a few more laughs.

Feedback – especially in real-time- can be great. I would encourage all you speakers out there to try it if you haven’t.