How to Give feedback – so it has a positive impact!

I know plenty of people who are prepared to share their “thoughts” and “opinions”. Not many of them know how to provide their counsel in a constructive way. They often wonder why their feedback doesn’t have the desired impact. And, in many cases, the result is the direct opposite of what they expected or wanted because of their input.

Does this sound familiar to you?

There are some simple steps that you can take to give people feedback in positive manner that will leave them more likely to take the action you want.


1.     Be considerate of their situation and feelings

The first thing you need to consider when providing feedback is the situation of the recipient. For example, if a client is relatively new and inexperienced to public speaking my feedback to them is different to someone who is more confident and skilled at speaking to groups of people. Why? Firstly, there is a risk of “information overload”. To give a “newbie” the detailed feedback I’d provide an experienced speaker wouldn’t help them. They need to get their skills and understanding to the right level before I show them the more advanced skills.


2.     Be Clear on Why you are providing the feedback

We hear to many unsolicited opinions today. As a result we have become immune to them as any are self-serving and not delivered with the recipients best intent at heart. So, when you are providing feedback you need to be clear on why you are giving the feedback, and what you are trying to achieve. Be extremely specific on what you are trying help the receiver achieve with the feedback!


3.     Be considerate of the words you use and how you say it

This is the most important aspect. You can have the best intentions and the greatest advice to give but if you don’t phrase it and deliver it appropriately it won’t have the desired effect.

When someone opens himself or herself up to receive your feedback they are placing their trust in you. Just one poor choice of word can result in them mentally shutting down and closing their mind to your wisdom. Really take the time to put yourself in their shoes and consider how you should phrase and deliver your message.


Sharing your experiences and skills is a very rewarding path, for both you and the receiver of your feedback. By following these guidelines you can assist clients, colleagues, and friends to improve their skills and get better outcomes.


Images thanks to Big Hero 6
About The Author

Mark Kyte

Mark Kyte is a public speaking mentor and founder of the Public Speaking Skills Academy. Mark loves helping clients achieve dynamic results that help them increase their influence and get more clients. Read more of his blog and if you like what you see check out the mentoring programs.