I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better. I think that’s the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself. – Elon Musk
Did Elon Musk, the man who at only 46 years old has already founded successful companies that builds self-driving electric cars and fires rockets into space, go to Toastmasters? Sounds like it. He certainly shares our passion for getting feedback, and who knows, that might be part of the reason he is such a success!
At our regular Spa Speakers meetings, we give and recieve feedback galore:
- speech evaluators evaluate speeches
- a general evaluator evaluates the speech evaluators, as well as the Toastmaster and Topics Master
- A grammarian and ah-counter offers everyone feedback on their use of language and verbal crutches
Elon would approve!
But what about the meeting experience as a whole? Was the meeting run well? Was the atmosphere good? Were guests made to feel welcome? Was the room arranged well? Was there enough milk? Was the light good enough? Were disruptions dealt with well? Was the introduction of a new element to the meeting a success? There is an endless list of possibilities!
It’s not easy for one person to pick up on all that, so at Spa we ask everyone, members and guests alike, to offer their feedback at the end of each meeting. We want everyone to let us know what was good so that we continue and improve upon it, and, perhaps even more importantly, tell us what could be better.
But how? Let me introduce to you…..
The Spa Speakers patented Post-it Process!
On the clipboards we distribute to all members and guests at the beginning of our meetings, you’ll find not only a pen, an official Toastmasters ballot and agenda, but also two post-it notes. Those two post-it notes are there for member to scribble feedback, both recommendations or commendations, about any aspect of the meeting that they observed and deemed important.
At the back of the room by the main exit doors, you’ll notice a flipchart set up. At the end of each meeting, members and guests are asked to stick their post-its, replete with juicy feedback, onto the flipchart before they leave. This system enables anyone who wishes to share their opinion to remain anonymous (and check out what others are saying too!)
Didn’t use your post it? Shame on you! Not to worry, leave them stuck to the clipboard: we can use them next time.
What happens to the completed post-its?
A member of the committee (usually the VPPR) will collect the post-its, type up the contents, and share them with the committee. The committee will then review what was said, decide if there is anything that needs attention, and take action!
How the committee has used the feedback recieved
Some examples of how we’ve used the feedback. We got positive feedback when we introduced the JokesMaster role so this will continue as a meeting role on members-only nights. When we experimented with having a bell rung each time a speaker used a verbal crutch, the message we got back from members was that it was too distracting and offputting so we put a stop to it. We were asked for fresh milk: sorted! The General Evaluator’s report was deemed to long so we shortened it; your post its told us this was a welcome change. We made Table Topics more difficult on members-only nights; your post its told us you approved! And so on…
A request to all members and guests
We want Spa Speakers to be the most fun, friendly and supportive place in Leamington Spa. We want to offer members and guests a brilliant, energised, purposeful meeting experience. To do that we need a continuous stream of feedback to make what’s good better, and fix what isn’t working. So please, please, please, do fill in the post-its provided at each meeting. At minimum, please tell us:
- One thing you liked
- One thing you think could be improved
Finally, please forgive your forgetful president
Too often, the president forgets to request members to complete their post-its due to his absent-mindedness. Whether reminded or not, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE complete your post-it feedback regardless. It will help us make Spa Speakers the best it can possibly be!
- How does Pathways affect the Distinguished Club Award? - 1st April 2020
- 10 Tips for controlling your public speaking nerves - 25th March 2020
- Expand your comfort zone and speak at another club! - 18th March 2020