Today, I got my evaluation results for my presentation during UKOUG last year. Overall, I am not unhappy. I am a little bit perfectionist minded, but for a first conference presentation, my overall feeling matched the scores given.
The score range the attendees had to / could use where:
Main scores are:
- Below Average,
- Very Good,
The Length of Session scores are:
- Too short,
- Just right,
- Too long.
Main section (29 votes)
- Topic evaluation average: 4.55
- Content evaluation average: 4.07
- Presentation Skills evaluation average: 3.93
- Quality of Slides evaluation average: 4.07
- Value of Presentation evaluation average: 3.93
The length of session (23 votes)
- Length of Session evaluation average: 1.52
So on average my presentation scored a solid “good” and (to my surprise) the length of my session got also a “just right”, despite it was too short (only 30 minutes in all). What I remember from reading the score forms; there were some “below average” and “excellent” scores. My own feelings regarding my presentation on the 5th was “just a simple OK” (so on average a “average/good”), but said that, I have some nerdy perfectionist tendencies so when I do some self-reflecting, I won’t grade myself very highly… . One fourth didn’t fill in their scoring cards, because I counted roundabout 40 attendees it total.
I am surprise though, that I got a 1.52 for “length of session”, because, as said, I only used 30 minutes of my time slot. I would have expected that people would have graded me a solid “too short”, which it was. The fact that I didn’t take into account that I am not a native speaker, and therefore rigorously stuck to my story, unexpectedly ended up my presentation 15 minutes to short. This was my biggest presentation mistake. I didn’t take the “non native” part into account.
A shame, because I always run out of time so if I had known I wouldn’t have stuck to only 33 slides (or so). I thought about, and prepared on all the other standard issues, like “don’t read your bullets” (your audience can do this themselves) or “look into the audience, while speaking” (don’t talk to a wall, whiteboard, stand with you back to the audience), etc. The non-native part, searching for sentences, almost spoiled the soup.
Apparently, I reached some people, regarding the issues I wanted to bring across, because someone commented: “Food for thought”. And others were expecting a completely different presentation: “Probably not presentation I expected” (maybe somehow my abstract was misleading someway despite the care I took). Of course it is alway cool to get comments like “Good first conference presentation tackling a difficult topic in a clear way and maintaining interest” or “An excellent first effort, considering not first language”.
The overall average verdict for UKOUG presentations was on average higher, which says enough about UKOUG as a conference overall, and also it will push me to make an bigger effort next time, at least, if I get the privilege to present once more.