By taking a post-seminar evaluation, you could significantly improve the skills and abilities needed to be an excellent seminar facilitator. You get insight on how to improve your craft, avoid potential problems, be more prepared and ready for the next event, and become even more motivated to perform well every time you conduct a seminar.
The Importance of an Evaluation
Conducting an evaluation of your performance when facilitating the seminar is like making a quality assessment. In order for a product to become a great product, it has to be carefully molded, developed, and tested several times to ensure that every flaw will be detected and eliminated. Similarly, in order for individuals to become effective seminar facilitators, they must also be open for feedback and be willing to submit themselves to a performance evaluation. This way they will know the areas that need to be improved on so that the next time around, such weaknesses will no longer be apparent.
To determine strong and weak areas, it is necessary for every seminar facilitator to undergo a post-seminar evaluation. This is standard procedure for professional facilitators that is often given at the closing of the seminar, and can be done internally and externally. Internal evaluation is done by you—the seminar facilitator, while external evaluation is done by a colleague or superior, as well as the participants (audience) through the use of survey forms.
How is Post-Seminar Evaluation Given?
The process used in evaluating the seminar facilitator would depend on the kind of evaluation to be done. Internal evaluation is done more as a personal assessment, so it is less formal and you can actually do it right after the event. Ask yourself the following questions:
- How well did I perform?
- How did the audience respond to my presentation?
- What was the least successful part of the presentation? How can I make it better?
- What was the most successful part of the presentation? What made it most successful?
List down the answers to these questions as best as you can. It is very important that you are completely honest with yourself in making a personal post-seminar evaluation. After all, it could help you do a much better job next time you conduct another seminar.
External evaluation, as mentioned, is done with the help of a colleague or a superior who has attended the seminar to observe you. But oftentimes, this kind of evaluation is done by means of giving the audience a questionnaire or a survey form to answer just before the end of the event. The questions provided are quite generic, focusing on specific factors such as the presenter (seminar facilitators), materials used, topic, and the venue. Such questions are rated as: excellent, good, fair, and poor.
Examples of questions found in these survey forms are:
- How prepared was the presenter?
- Were the materials used relevant to the topic?
- Was the venue conducive to the seminar in general?
- Were the topics explained clearly?
- What aspects of the seminar do you think needs to be improved? Why?
Dealing with Constructive Feedback
There are people who do not know how to take constructive feedback well, and they often refuse to seek comments from others about their performance after they delivered their speech or oral presentation. However, as a seminar facilitator, being given constructive feedback provides you with an opportunity to grow, develop, and be able to learn from your mistakes. So, instead of being defensive and refusing to listen to people’s comments, you should be more open-minded and willing to accept feedback.
One important thing to also remember when it comes to dealing with constructive feedback is that you should not simply apply and agree with all the information you received. You see, it is also likely that someone’s feedback may be subjective so you should not just follow what others are saying. What you should do, instead, is to consider all the points given to you and validate each one. Having the ability to accept constructive feedback is a critical skill that seminar facilitators should have in order to master their craft.