Power Presentations Tip 36: Evaluate Other Presenters

Evaluate other presenters

Study other presenters to learn from them. But don't fall into the trap of judging whether you are better or worse than they are. That's pointless. Just observe and learn.

You can learn from speakers both better and worse than you. My mentor and friend, Peter Urs Bender, used to say that a wise man can learn from a fool and a fool can learn from no one. If you aren't learning then who are you?

There are many sources where you can study other presenters: your workplace, your place of worship, a wedding, a funeral, your association meeting, a conference, a community event, politicians, training program, theatre or TV.

Throughout the presentation ask these two questions:

What worked well and why?

What didn't work well and why?

Be like a scientist. Notice the connection between cause and effect.

Some points to evaluate

How well did the opening grab attention and clarify the direction of the presentation?

What did the speaker do early in the presentation to connect with the audience?

What forms of humor were used?

What endeared the audience to the speaker?

What might have offended the audience?

Where did the speaker lose some listeners?

How did the structure of the presentation help or hinder the message?

How clear was the key message? Can you repeat it in one phrase?

What were this speaker's strengths?

What were this speaker's weaknesses?

How did both of the previous characteristics affect the outcome of the presentation?

How would you summarize this presentation for a friend who missed it?


Evaluate other speakers for your own learning not to give them a detailed report on their performance. Do not run up to them after their presentation to give them constructive feedback. Most don't want it and will not appreciate your help.

Feel free to use this list when you want constructive feedback from a trusted colleague.

George Torok
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