I’ll start this post with this quote by Neil Blumenthal, “By creating a feedback culture within your office, you ensure that people continue to learn, grow, and challenge themselves.” Toastmasters provides that environment to help its member learn and grow through the help of its members.
During its session, a member does his/her speech and the members provide constructive and meaningful feedback to help the speaker. There is a speaker evaluator and the rest of the participants can also provide the speaker with additional feedback. It’s like receiving a 360 feedback. Everyone in the meeting is working on improving their communication skills. Therefore, it is good to take advantage of the opportunity to receive meaningful feedback that can help you improve your communication with no risk of being criticized.
I’d like to share my experience on how to provide an effective feedback
- Show interest in the presentation and don’t do other things like looking at your phone or talking to others.
- Maintain eye contact with the speaker.
- Don’t make any facial reaction if the speaker makes a mistake.
- Personalize your feedback.
- Use phrases like I suggest to encourage the speaker.
- Focus on the speech and not the person when providing feedback.
- Be sincere and provide both positive and constructive feedback.
- Encourage the speaker to challenge themselves by using the stage more or using hand gestures.
Another way of providing feedback is through mentoring. If you want to help others and challenge yourself, mentor someone, because when you mentor someone, you need to learn more to teach others. Encourage your mentee to step outside their comfort zone. When you stretch yourself, you’ll grow and better yourself.