This paper presents experimental verification and comparison of damage detection methods based on changes in mode shapes such as: mode shape curvature (MSC), modal assurance criterion (MAC), strain energy (SE), modified Laplacian operator (MLO), generalized fractal dimension (GFD) and Wavelets Transform (WT). The object of the investigation is to determine benefits and drawbacks of the aforementioned methods and to develop data preprocessing algorithms for increasing damage assessment effectiveness by using signal processing techniques such as interpolation and extrapolation measured points. Noise reduction algorithms based on moving average, median filter and wavelet decomposition are also tested. The experiments were performed on a 1m long steal cantilever beam. Damage was introduced in form of 10% and 20% deep saw cut, placed in 10%, 30%, 50%, 70% and 90% beam length. Measurements were made using non-contact Scanning Laser Doppler Vibrometer at 125 points equally spaced along beam length.