“He’s so full of himself.”
“He brought a NYCity attitude up here to Binghamton and that’s not going to work here.”
“He was totally a commercial the entire time.”
“His intro was too long. He talked too much about himself.”
And that’s the feedback that was written down.
The formalized feedback process for workshops, seminars, in-person trainings and other events is based off of an old model that hybridizes the immediate feedback a stand-up comedian receives (either the audience claps or boos) and the more long distance feedback that politicians and actors receive (either the audience buys a ticket, or doesn’t).
Both methods of giving feedback to a presenter, or speaker, are gradually fading away in an era of immediacy with social media, but that’s with crowds that are majority 18-34. The crowds that I still present to, train in front of and receive feedback from (like that written up there in those quotes) is still in the 35-55 year old age group.
I was going to write today’s HIT Piece about the endgame for this entrepreneurial project I’ve got going, but the feedback issue has been growing in two ways:
Audience members now feel comfortable enough with me (which I guess means that there’s a sense of rapport now) where they feel as though they can come up to me and say almost anything. Like the gentlemen that approached me and said “f—k you” to me after a workshop I did recently.
Audience members now feel comfortable enough to give feedback in the forms of praise and support; or, critique and condemnation. Critique and condemnation are easy to give. Praise and support fade over time when immediacy of feedback (“I’m really excited about you, how can I help you now!” “Well, you can get me hired someplace else.” “…oh…ok…”) looks to the receiver like a call for more business.
I don’t know what the way forward is out of this, but I have more insight now into why it’s easier (not better) for celebrities, politicians, comedians and other performers to put up walls (psychically, socially, culturally, economically, emotionally, etc.) between themselves and the audience—after the show is over.
-Peace Be With You All-
Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: email@example.com