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Tips for Collecting Better Feedback for Workshops and Webinars

January 24, 2018 By Hendrik-Jan Francke

Tips for Collecting Better Feedback for Workshops and Webinars

A part-time “hat” that I wear is that of speaker.

I give talks and presentation about online marketing and websites to fellow business owners and VPs of marketing. I love helping people learn how to improve their business.

But I’ll admit, I don’t have entirely altruistic motives for booking speaking gigs.

Speaking in front of an audience of CEOs and VPs of Marketing is a great way to generate potential sales opportunities.

A group of my fellow CEOs and peer advisors that also have part-time “speaking hats” swapped strategies and stories. One common theme that emerged is the challenge of collecting valuable feedback and setting an expectation for following up with attendees. Many speakers are reluctant to push for this feedback and even more reluctant to start the sales conversation.

Here are my strategies to collect better feedback and make better connections from presentations

Start and Finish by Mentioning You Value Feedback

As part of your introduction statement before you dive into your presentation, make the point that you value feedback. You value feedback because you want to know how the material you present will impact your audience and how to increase the impact upon them.

By positioning feedback to be about them and their needs, your audience will feel more inclined to share their thoughts on what they liked, and what they still want to know.

And at the beginning, let the audience know that you will be giving them a few moments in the end of the presentation to provide that feedback. It is that important to you. Leave room in your presentation to give them this time.

Make it Easy to Deliver Feedback

Three hurdles attendees face when delivering feedback are:

  1. Running out of time to complete the feedback (few people will want to stay late to help).
  2. Losing the “feedback card” in a shuffle of papers.
  3. Being burdened by overcomplicated feedback forms

Fortunately, you can stand out as a presenter and make it easy for attendees to deliver feedback.

  1. Block time in your presentation to collect the feedback. I recommend requesting feedback ¾ of the way through. Don’t wait until the very end when everyone is rushing out.
  2. Print the form on a separate piece of paper in a unique color. There’s a reason teachers send our kids home with bright orange permission slips!
  3. Limit the feedback to 3 simple questions:
    1.  "What business challenge are you facing that today’s presentation will impact?"
    2. "What is the one item learned today that you could use to improve your business tomorrow?"
    3. “Are you interested in exploring this further?” Yes or No.
  4. Collect the forms at the end of the time you have set aside. Don’t allow for attendees to hand them in as they leave (this makes it too easy for them to accidentally, or deliberately, forget). Have your audience pass the feedback slips forward. Thank your them and say you look forward to reviewing the feedback tomorrow morning.

Back to the feedback questions that I listed above.

Notice that the questions about THEM. Not you. The questions are designed to make the attendee think about how your content is helping them (“what’s in it for me?”).

If your content is good (which, of course, it is!), and it addresses a business challenge they are facing (if it doesn’t, then why did they come to your presentation?), most people should answer Q3 with a resounding “Yes.”
And voila! With each “yes,” you have permission to follow up.

Following Up

You MUST block off time on your calendar for the 2 days after your presentation. Block off 3 hours per day to make follow up calls discussing the business challenge they specified. (Why 2 three hour blocks? This gives you time to the morning after the presentation, then again on the afternoon of day 2. This gives them almost 2 business days between calls so they don’t feel bombarded.)

Improve Lead Generation For Every Presentation

A few simple changes to your speaking routine can fill your pipeline with more leads from every presentation. You will also improve as a speaker because you’re shifting the focus from you to your audience.

Good luck with your next speaking engagement. If you use these tips, let me know how it works for you.

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