Luckily, most public speakers don’t find their performance from the previous night parsed to pieces in the pages of the local newspaper like a movie or concert. In the public speaking field, bad reviews show up in odd ways and strange times, often through back door avenues or third hand gossip. Since no one likes a bad review, and your business will literally survive or die on good word of mouth or lack thereof, let’s talk about bad reviews and how to handle them.
Here’s what not to do – attack the reviewer or try to browbeat him into silence. Come on, what are we, in third grade? These kind of tactics didn’t work then and they don’t work now. Here’s how to throw that nasty old person for a loop. If word gets back that a recent performance didn’t go over especially well with a client, call him up and ask some polite questions. There’s a chance he could have just been having a bad day, but there’s also a chance there’s something about your presentation that needs improving.
Maybe you didn’t stick to the topic he hired you for. Maybe you need to brush up on your speaking skills. Maybe the person who tossed a bad review your way is psychotic. You’ll never know unless you stop running from criticism and learn to embrace it. You might be amazed how quickly a nasty comment will fade away if you put yourself out there and make a legitimate effort to understand, evaluate, and address it. As much as we’d like to think the opposite, human nature is not very complicated. Squeaky wheels just want some attention. Give it to them and they might become a friend for life. However, if the bad reviewer truly is psychotic, don’t waste your time trying to reason with that.
Ignore it. Don’t respond in kind. File for a restraining order if you feel threatened. Some people have nothing better to do than tear another down. What you shouldn’t do is give in to the knee-jerk reaction to sue for the reclamation of your good name. Trust us, in the vast majority of cases, nothing good comes from that. People see you’re suing for slander or defamation and think, “That nincompoop doesn’t understand what it’s like here on earth. Sometimes people say bad things about you.”
Embrace bad reviews. They might be legit.
The Speaking of Wealth Team
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