Introduction to Feedback

Feedback is a two-way street. Both parties involved in the communication event are constantly providing cues, both verbal and nonverbal to one another. When actively listening, the speaker and listener enter a partnership where both are paying special attention to nonverbal and verbal cues as part of actively listening and speaking. Those engaged in a conversation often don’t know what they are doing, but they know how it feels when it goes well. They will often leave the communication event thinking, “wow, that was a great conversation. I really enjoyed talking to that person.”

How does this two-way communication work? In this section, we will discuss types of feedback and how a speaker entices an audience to listen as well as the elements of feedback and ideas for giving feedback in various situations. Let’s start with considering nonverbal feedback.