10 April 2018
So, you’re about to go into that big presentation. You’re prepped. Your slides are ready. The adrenaline is flowing. You’re ready.
Then you walk into the room and deliver a presentation you’re proud of.
How do you react to feedback? To criticism?
As a creative, these situations can leave you feeling vulnerable. You’re presenting your work to the world and that work, regardless of what it actually is, is incredibly personal.
It’s easy to let critics get the better of you. It takes a huge amount of resilience to be a creative. To put yourself out there and show what you’ve done. When someone knocks the wind from your sails, it can be difficult not to take that personally.
Recently I listened to a talk by author and researcher Brené Brown on this very topic. In a talk a few years ago she addresses a room of creatives about how our critics can easily lead us to limit our aspirations. As Brown describes it: “What would you try if you knew that people wouldn’t say [that bad thing] about you?”
Feedback and criticism are two different things
When you bring social media into the equation, everyone has a voice and an opinion, whether it is warranted or not. Twitter especially gives a voice to everyone and anyone; it’s who you choose to listen to that matters most. Do you listen to every negative person/post or do you focus on the positives?
Of course, feedback is there to be learned from and is an essential tool for development. There is, however, a huge difference between positive criticism and the trolling we see online every day. Those people who share their opinions just to shoot others down.
Brown compares sharing your creativity to being naked – showing people who you are and what you’ve made. Combining the vulnerability of being in this position with that type of relentless criticism can easily become an incredibly destructive force.
So what’s the answer? Brown sums it up perfectly: Tell your critics, ‘I see you, I hear you but I’m going to do this anyway.’
Watch the full video below: