I enjoy speaking to HR professionals because I always feel like the audience is grateful. Even though they might not agree with me, they always seem genuinely appreciative of my time and my energy.

Want to help me become a better speaker? Want to help my friends who are speaking at the annual SHRM Conference and Exposition?

Provide better feedback.

Speaker evaluations really matter!

Things We Want to Know

  1. What are 2-3 things you remember from our presentation? If something is memorable, tell us. The act of writing it down on a survey will help you remember it more clearly, too.
  2. Did anything resonate with you? We want to inspire your colleagues. Your feedback is important.
  3. Did something fall flat? Not everything is gold. We know this. Help us get better, okay?
  4. Did we speak with clarity and authority? Could you hear us? Do we mumble? Do you believe us when we speak?
  5. How is our body language? I started pilates after getting direct feedback about my posture on stage. This is no joke.
  6. What, if anything, can you use from our talk when you go back to work? We want to help you. What worked from our presentation?
  7. Would you recommend us to another HR audience? This is a fundamental question that many businesses ask their customers. You are our customers.
  8. What are 1-2 things we could add or remove from our presentation that would make it better? Believe me, I want to cut the fat from my deck. Help me identify the fat!

Things We Don’t Want to Know

  1. Please don’t talk about appearance. I have read some tremendously rude things about my appearance. (Posture is one thing. My face is another.) As humans, we all have flaws. If it were so easy to stand on stage, you would do it.
  2. Please don’t get petty. It is easy to be picky and judgmental when you are anonymous. Anonymity is a useful tool, but it’s not an excuse to be a jerk.
  3. Please don’t comment on our faith. Did the speaker wear a kippah, chador or headscarf? Who cares. You work in human resources. You ought to know that you can learn something from someone who doesn’t look like you.

Finally, I would offer one additional piece of advice.

Consider gender.

Would you offer the same feedback to a male speaker as a female speaker? How does your gender, or the gender of the speaker, impact what you heard and experienced on stage?

In any event, please slow down and think about what you’re about to write. Choose your words wisely. If you can’t offer constructive and actionable feedback, it’s totally appropriate to skip the survey.

Your opinion isn’t always required.