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You give a big sales presentation or management briefing and then you wait to see how you did. Smiles or frowns? Thunderous applause or a polite golf clap? Objections or nods of agreement?

Speakers often deliver a presentation and have mixed thoughts on what went well and what needs improvement. Here are five ways to measure your success in your presentations:

1. Audience response

What was the immediate outcome of your presentation? Did you motivate the listeners to take action? Did they buy your product? Did they approve your budget? Did they support your cause?

2. Internal structure

Did you build a strong case? A good measure of an effective presentation is that it’s a persuasive case with strong structure. This usually results in positive feedback and action from your audience.

3. Improved productivity

Did you decrease your prep time? Consider your general process when preparing a presentation. Your productivity should always increase, while your preparation time decreases without losing peak performance.

4. Personal evaluation

Did you improve your personal best? Just as it is with marathon runners, who often compete against their personal bests rather than compare themselves to other runners, you likely reflect on how you personally feel your presentation stacks up against other such presentations you’ve made. Were you confident or nervous? Was the audience fully engaged? Did you use time management skills and techniques to include all your key points and clarify concerns?

5. Career enhancement

Did your presentation advance your career? Are you and your abilities perceived any differently from your coworkers and higher-ups? Are you being asked to take on new assignments or assume greater responsibilities based on how you were perceived in your presentation?

Your presentations, both in terms of outcome and process, deserve analysis. After each one, take a few minutes to evaluate. That’s the key to continued improvement.

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