When I run my presentations workshops, I always begin the post-presentation coaching session by asking the presenter for their own assessment of how they did. It’s a sure-fire way to gauge their understanding of the elements of effective presentations, and it can also save time in the debrief. In addition, it provides a glimpse into who they are; almost invariably, they tell me something about themselves without being aware of it.
It seems like every workshop contains a bell-curve distribution of self-assessment types. Here’s a range of reactions that I get, starting at the right (good) side of the curve:
It would seem pointless to even waste my breath trying to coach those last two, but I always make it a point to give them very detailed feedback, even though I know they aren’t listening. That’s because without knowing it they are serving as excellent teaching tools for everyone else in the class who does want to learn. And the best part is, they don’t even know the valuable part they’re playing!