Care less about feedback – Secret #10 of star presenters, by @JoshShipp [Video]

How much do you take notice of audience feedback? Positive feedback feels great, but on the other hand, negative feedback can sting!

In this 1-minute video, professional speaker Josh Shipp shares some neat advice on how to shape your attitude to feedback:

I loved several things about Josh’s video – especially the quotes below:

“You are not as good as your good feedback,
and you’re also not as bad as your bad feedback.”
Josh Shipp (at 2:31)

Excellent point! If you listen either to someone who gushes about how great your talk was, or to someone who thinks it was awful, you’ll skew your view of how well your talk was received. (And even if the good or bad feedback isn’t as extreme as that, it still won’t reflect what most people got out of your talk.)

So what should you do? Josh answers with the 2nd of my favourite parts of the video:

“Be open to receive genuine compliments
and constructive criticism from trusted sources.

Tweak your message after you hear this feedback
– just a little bit – and then move on…”
Josh Shipp (at 3:06)

To me, the adjectives in the 1st of those 2 sentences are the key words of the whole quote, and they’re highlighted below:

  • Genuine compliments
  • Constructive criticism
  • From trusted sources

In other words:

  • If someone compliments your talk just for the sake of being nice, your best response is to thank them and then ignore what they said.
  • Equally, if someone criticises your talk – or you as a speaker – but doesn’t suggest how you might improve, then their comment is worthless and should be ignored.
  • Third, and perhaps most important, feel free to shrug off all feedback that’s not from people whose comments you trust.


An aside about Toastmasters

That 3rd point reminds me of one thing I found annoying about Toastmasters. Namely, after any speech, some members seemed to think it was their right to give unsolicited feedback (during a break, or after the meeting).

Sure, Toastmasters is built on the premise that each speaker gets feedback. That’s fine. Sadly though, a small number of members think that means it’s open season for anyone to voice their opinion. So those people fail to realise that their opinion might be unwelcome, and it’s often unhelpful too – what a feedback fail!

Anyway, that’s the end of my short rant for today


But wait, there’s more…

You might’ve noticed that the title of Josh’s clip begins “3 Things”, and that the full video’s longer than the clip I shared above.

In fact the whole thing’s filled with great advice. So here for your viewing pleasure is the full 6-minute version:

In summary, here are the 3 main points he shares – if you want to watch him make each point, you can click the times shown in brackets:

  1. Stop speaking to the audience [0:38] – speak to each person
  2. Stop caring so much about feedback [2:15]
  3. Stop thinking that you’re changing lives [3:33] – that’s up to each listener!

On that last point, here’s the 3rd and last of my favourite quotes from the video:

“We don’t have the power to change a person’s life.
Only they can change their own life.”
Josh Shipp (at 3:48)

Sobering stuff – I love it!


Your turn

So, please let me know your thoughts in the comment box below.

  • What do you think of the points Josh made in the video?
  • Have you ever received unwelcome feedback, at Toastmasters or elsewhere?
    If so, did you learn anything from that experience?


See also


2 thoughts on “Care less about feedback – Secret #10 of star presenters, by @JoshShipp [Video]

  1. You actually make it appear so easy with your presentation however I am finding this topic to be actually one thing which I think I might never understand. It sort of feels too complicated and extremely extensive for me. I am taking a look ahead to your next blog, I’ll try to get the grasp of it!


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