Sometimes you will be called upon to provide feedback on another person's speech. It is essential to realize that feedback need not always be harmful or destructive. It should be constructive criticism.

Constructive criticism:

The feedback that is helpful and productive

Giving feedback is to improve someone's performance in some way. In its most effective form, it provides constructive advice, direction, and guidance, to raise performance levels.

Effective feedback stresses both strengths and suggestions for improvement. In giving constructive feedback, you must be straightforward and honest; you must also respect the speaker's personal feelings.

Feedback is pointless unless the speaker profits from it; however, praise just for praise has no value unless the only goal is to motivate or improve self-concept.

Effective feedback reflects your consideration of the speaker's need for self-esteem, recognition, confidence, and the approval of others. Ridicule, anger, or fun at the speaker's expense has no place in constructive feedback.

To give constructive feedback, listen carefully to the speaker. Focus on the following:

• The actual content of a speaker's effort

• What happened during the speech

• The observed factors that affected the performance of the speech

Delivering Your Speech

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