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Dave Hill – Presentation Skills Article

Billionaire Warren Buffet says good communication skills can increase your earnings by 50 percent over your lifetime.  “Unless you really think you are good at this now, go out and improve your communication skills,” he recommends.

When striving for excellence in presentation skills, “winging it” does not work. A systematic approach using knowledge, practice, and constructive feedback paves the path to distinction. An evaluation of your presentation and presentation skills content by a knowledgeable presenter using a well-structured feedback form can point you in the right direction.

The following are the fundamental considerations for constructive feedback and some example forms that can capture the quality of your presentation content and your delivery of the information.


1.    Determine your options for getting effective feedback:

  • One of the simplest ways may be to practice in front of your peers or get them to sit in on your presentation and use your feedback form. If I am putting together an important business presentation, I will try to find the time to deliver it to people who are proficient in the subject to make sure my tact is correct and that I will successfully convey my message and gain consensus.
  • Do some research and find a public speaking club that is known to have seasoned, exceptional evaluators. Joining a weekly Toastmasters club is a cost-effective way to receive feedback. Locate a club in your area at Prepare a feedback form ahead of time. Hone it to your specific speech or presentation needs.

2.      It is important to remember that not all feedback is good.  It can be effective for you to get your mastermind group, mentor, or another skilled speaker to evaluate the feedback forms and determine what advice is correct and appropriate.

3.      Ask for honest, brutal feedback. There are always opportunities for improvement.


Presenter: _____________ Evaluator: ___________ Date: _________________

Presentation Title: _________________________________________________


Grab attention (use an anecdote, quotation, rhetorical question, shock statement, etc.).

□       Was it effective?

□       Was it short?

□       Was it related to the topic?

□       Was it missing?

Describe why the information is important to the audience – provide a value statement   

□       Were the benefits described?

□       Was it effective?

□       Was it short?

□       Was it related to the topic?

□       Was it missing?

Briefly review the points you will cover.

□       Was the description brief?

□       Was it missing?

Describe the rules for the question & answer session (anytime or near the end etc.)

□       Was the description brief?

□       Was it missing?  


Describe the main points.

□       Were the pros/cons described for each point?

□       Were the points supported with information (such as statistics)?

□       Were the transitions between points and anecdotes clear and smooth?

□       Were the transitions missing?

Reemphasize the purpose or benefits to the audience (use an anecdote, quotation, rhetorical question, etc.).

□       Did the reemphasis tie back to the initial attention grabber or benefit statement?

□       Was it missing?

□       Was it unrelated to the presentation content?

Briefly summarize the points

□       Was the summary of key points missing?

□       Was there a reemphasis of the benefits, importance, and recommendations?


Question-and-answer time.

□       Were the questions summarized back to the questioner so that the audience could hear the question?

□       Was the question and answer session missing?

□       Did the presenter answer the questions well?

Call to action.

□       Did the presentation include a call to action?

□       Did the conclusion end with energy?

□       Was the conclusion missing?



Presenter: _____________ Evaluator: ___________ Date: _________________

Presentation Title: _________________________________________________


Eye contact

□       Was the eye contact long enough to be engaging?

□       Did the speaker include all quadrants of the audience?

□       Was eye contact hasty and uneasy?

Facial Expressions   

□       Were the facial expressions varied?

□       Did the facial expressions enhance the presentation content?

□       Did the speaker smile?

□       Were the facial expressions natural looking?


□       Were the gestures natural?

□       Were the gestures over practiced to where they were out of sync with the words?

□       Did the speaker exhibit nervous gestures (fiddling with hair or rings, hands clasped in front of or behind the body)?

□       Were the gestures large enough to effectively provide emphasis?

Purposeful movement and body posture

□       Did the physical body movement provide suitable emphasis to the content?

□       Was the body posture professional looking (upright stance, not leaning on a table or lectern)? 

□       Did the speaker wander or roam without purpose?


□       Was the voice volume adequate to project to all people in the room?

□       Was the voice forced or too loud?

□       Was vocal variety utilized?

□       Was the voice monotone?

□       Did the speaker sound sincere?

□       Was the speaking pace appropriate?

□       Was the voice confident?

□       Were filler words being used (AH’s, UM’s, SO’s)?

□       Were purposeful pauses being utilized?


Presenter: _________________ Evaluator: ____________________ Date: __________

Presentation Title: _________________________________________________

Please turn in this form

FEED BACK IS VITAL! Please circle one number for each category.

                                                                                Low                                                 High

Value of this information to you              1              2              3              4              5

Organization of the presentation             1              2              3              4              5

Effectiveness of the presenter                  1              2              3              4              5

Evaluation of hand-out materials             1              2              3              4              5

Overall rating of the presentation           1              2              3              4              5

  1. What ideas/topics were most valuable?
  2. What did you like best about the presentation?
  3. What would you like to see included in this presentation?
  4. How can the presentation be improved?
  5. What was the quality/usefulness of the handouts?
  6. What is one thing will you do differently as a result of this training?
  7. Other comments or suggestions