Most feedback is like this until something shakes us up. Occasionally, feedback walks up and slaps us in the face. Maybe it is the critique that went less than stellar. Maybe it is the performance review at work that caught you off guard.
I had a piece of feedback from school this last week that had me shaking my head and wanting to share. Context: I was third presenter in line at the end of the lecture delivered by the professor. My thunder was gone - not just stolen, but gone. Keyser Soze style.
Here it goes:
Done well: Compared goals and objectives very well. Nice powerpoint. Research, good conclusions, concise. Good eye contact. Good examples of companies in the area, objectives were well laid out. Good pausing.Gotta love those contradictions.
Opportunities for Improvement: Talk a little louder, be more enthusiastic. Seemed a little lacking compared to the amount of information others had. Seemed brief and minimally detailed. Better eye contact. Slides were too busy with too many details in some. Add more supporting info.
I had two main thoughts on the feedback:
- No criteria was issued by the professor as to what made a good presentation. Ergo, my audience compared me to everyone else they had seen that night.
- You can't please everyone.
I didn't exceed the expectations. I met them. It wasn't stellar and I was okay with that in this situation. Would I have done this if it were my turn for crits at a writing group? I hope not. But what if I had? Was it still worth it?
I think it was worthwhile. At some point feedback must be as much of your writing process as putting on a sweatshirt in response to cold. It has to be natural and just something you do. No emotions. It's not personal, it's something you consider about the environment and move forward in response.
What do you think?