10 Tips for Giving Constructive Feedback

The Video Reviewer’s Guide

Giving clear, constructive feedback on your video will help keep your project on schedule, your team motivated, and most importantly, create a better end product. Here we’ll give you some tricks and tips for setting your creative team up for success through constructive feedback.

Before we begin, it always pays to remember the two foundations of a robust review process: a solid brief and a comprehensive work schedule:

Brief well

Lay the groundwork for a successful review process with a clear, well-thought-out brief. Thoroughly discuss the brief with your creative team and make sure everyone is on the same page to help avoid unnecessary surprises later on in the project.

Formalize your agreement

Formalize the details of your project in a robust agreement or contract that includes all costs, the number of revisions, key deadlines (for each revision, review date and final delivery), and contingencies. Not being clear on these details and having to negotiate terms midway through a project can cause conflict between parties and halt your video’s momentum.

With those two elements locked down, your team should be well set up for an efficient and effective review process...

Be positive

It’s just as important to say what you love about a project as it is to give feedback on what’s not working. Giving positive feedback lets your creative team know what’s working and can help guide the project in the right direction. Plus, who doesn’t like hearing good feedback? Giving credit where credit is due will help build your team's morale, make working on the project more enjoyable, and will help you get the best work out of your creatives.

Ask questions

Remember; giving feedback should be a discussion. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, discuss ideas and allow others members of your team to come up with the best solutions. If you see something that could be improved, but are not sure how, put your trust into the creative team to solve these problems – that’s their specialty. And with tools like Wipster, asking questions and collaborating with your creative team has never been easier.

Say how you feel

Sometime it’s best to explain how you want the audience to feel when viewing the project, rather than how to do it. Being clear about how you want the audience to feel will give your creative team valuable information to make the right adjustments to the video. They are the professionals and probably have far more tools then you are aware of to achieve your desired result. If you attempt to tell them exactly how to change the video, you might miss an opportunity to come up with a more elegant and effective solution, while undermining your creative team’s expertise.

Have key decision makers

Discussions are good, but decisions also need to be made. Make sure that key decision makers and stakeholders are identified before the project begins and that there’s a process in place to know when the round of feedback is over. Make it clear who has the final word and when to move on: this will ensure things continue moving forward and people stay focused.

Give them space

It takes time to create a quality video that will have an impact on an audience, so it's important to give your creatives the time and space they need to work their magic. Be involved in the process, but don't micromanage, and you will have a happier team taking great pride in their work.

Value your creatives’ time

Take your role as reviewer seriously and remember that any delay during this part of the process will put unfair pressure on the creative team to hit future deadlines and could delay the project all together. Providing timely, well-thought-out feedback will motivate your creative team and elevate your entire project. The review process is a chance to take your video to another level, so make it a priority and set your team up for success. Nobody likes to have their time wasted or to work around the clock on an endless project.

Make no assumptions

A video has many elements, and it’s your responsibility to look closely at each of them. If you are unsure of something or have any ideas or questions, always ask. If you want clarity on a scene, or if you’re wondering when the title will be added, simply add a comment and find out – don’t assume everything is taken care of. Wipster makes it easy for the creative team to go through and answer questions, and this will save everyone a whole lot of time in the long run.

Speak the language

Like most disciplines, film and video professionals have their own language. Knowing some of the terminology will not only speed up the review process and help avoid miscommunication, but also gain you some respect from your creative team. Arm yourself with some of the key video terms and take your review skills to the next level.

Every round of feedback should move the project forward, and by implementing these tips on your next project you will stay on schedule, have a team that is excited to be on the project, and who will want to work with you to create a better end product.

Have some feedback tips of your own? Please share them in the comments below.