Ok, let's face it, in almost every aspect of life there are those that put themselves "out there", so to speak, and those that hang back. It stands to reason that the person who is hypothetically jumping up and down erratically, waving their arms and yelling "pick me, pick me!" at a level that is almost measurable on the Richter scale is going to be noticed far more easily than young Tom who quietly appears to be merely tagging along for the ride. This is great if you are the one that is being noticed but the downside to this, of course, is that being reserved generally tends to indicate a lack of capability.
The classroom is a prime example of this whole concept. As children we are mostly raised with the somewhat Victorian ideal of only speaking when we are spoken to, and we carry this belief into our school life. When asked if we understand something we nod politely. When asked if we have any questions we obediently say that we don't. Asking questions automatically hints at failure, either on our part as a pupil who has failed to grasp, or on the teacher's part for failing to teach at our level of understanding.
With class numbers on the increase, the teacher-to-pupil ratio increases also, which means that teachers no longer have the time to give to each individual and as a result they are quite often unaware of when certain pupils require extra help or further guidance until the particular topic has passed and end-of-year exams are looming.
There is a solution to this, though, which could quite possibly change the classroom, and all other manners of verbal presentation for that matter, dramatically. This revelation is an application that can be used through PowerPoint called "Turning Point". An experiment was carried out in Washington in which a teacher conducted a Psychology test using the application. It operates using a "digital audience response system" quite similar to those used on popular television quiz shows. The test was successful, and the application is also being used during normal classroom activity with the teacher asking questions periodically and the pupils answering individually by selecting answers through their hand units, giving the teacher a good indication of how well the topic is being understood and by which pupils.
Whilst this example was used within a classroom environment, it could be used in almost any area that requires a monitored level of understanding, whether it is health and safety or even the local pub quiz. How useful would it be to incorporate this into your own presentation? Getting regular feedback throughout not only gives the speaker an insight into how well he is getting his point across, it also encourages the audience to pay closer attention with its required interaction. It provides what can only be a win-win situation and is definitely worth considering in my opinion.
Sharren L Bessant
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I agree 100%. That’s why I think apps like Presfee might helps speakers to gathering feedback on their presentations.