Learn How to Give Feedback

I love TED. I listen to the talks there all the time. My next career goal is to present at TED some day. If any TED organizers read this, I’m a good speaker. Honest. Contact me. I promise to come up with something innovative for your next conference.

But, this is not about me, this is about Feedback. Natalie Merchant, formerly of 10,000 Maniacs gave a performance at the 2010 TED conference. Ted attracts, shall we say, not the most musically inclined audience and they don’t quite get how to clap along to her song.

So, rather than suffer through with the audience provided beat slightly off, she stops and gives feedback. And she does it well. The feedback is at the end, it is with the song that starts at 21 minutes in, but the whole video is worth watching. If you’re not familiar with Natalie Merchant you should be. She sings so well.

Now, note how she gives them feedback and they follow. She teaches them how to be an audience at a concert, and they learn. She’d make an excellent manager.

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6 thoughts on “Learn How to Give Feedback

  1. And go buy the deluxe version of Natalie's new album that was just released on Tuesday. It is excellent!

  2. While I like Natalie Merchant, and was fascinated with the poetry and songs, I disagree that her feedback was appropriate. Frankly, I thought it was rude that she shushed the audience! They were respectful and attentive – engaged as we'd say in HR – and had I been there her actions would have completely turned me off.

  3. Thanks for the link to the video. I think the great thing about feedback is that it shows that she cares about the audience and her show. Too many people wouldn't have given feedback as they don't care enough.


  4. Natalie Merchant puts me off in general, but her feedback was totally appropriate. It's inappropriate expression of ego that puts the audience on the stage, and there's nothing respectful about that. She's the professional performer. It's her job to keep the beat. If they interfere with her ability to do that, why is it rude to say so? That's functional and appropriate expression of ego.

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