Skills Earth Sciences

Reflection / feedback

Learning outcomes

At the end of this chapter you will be able to:

  • Reflect on giving your presentation

The development of your presentation skills doesn’t end after the presentation is over. Looking at our own presentations in hindsight can help us become better speakers in the future. As such, it is important to reflect on our own performances and identify what went well and what could be improved upon. Incorporating reflection into our presentation habits will not only boost self-confidence but prompt us to be more thoughtful in their creation1.

Give yourself a while after presenting to relax, clear your mind, and enjoy the experience. Time provides perspective, allowing you to give yourself (and receive) proper constructive feedback. Try to listen to the feedback given to you by your peers with an open mind. Remember, they are trying to help you become a better researcher and presenter. Try not to get defensive or to take comments personally but see them as suggestions for improvement.

This includes feedback from yourself. “You are your own worst critic” is a well-known phrase.

  • What did I do well?
  • What could I improve on?
  • If I were in the audience, what impression would I have?
  • What would I do differently next time?

By critically reviewing our own performances we can more easily identify which techniques helped us to get our points across. You may want to keep a journal or keep these entries in a singular word document. Use these findings to help you prepare your next presentation. Overtime, reflecting on our performances will teach us personal pitfalls to avoid and remind us of techniques we’ve found comfort and success with.

For a more extensive overview of self-reflection methods, see How did it go (“Self-reflection”).