“No single skill relates to management or leadership more strongly than the ability to communicate effectively.” Coplin and O”leary Power Persuasion
Think back when you were in college when you had a very intelligent professor who spoke in a flat, monotone voice. How excited were you to go to that class and learn? How inspiring was he or she to learn from? We know that being smart, alone, doesn’t inspire people to go out and act on what is being said.
When was the last time you did a company audit on how compelling and persuasive were your sales or marketing presentations and how effective are the skill sets of you and your team in influencing and motivating others?
I have been in 2 Resick-Rennich workshops on presentation skills over my past 7 years as I assist Austin based business owners and C level executives grow both personally and professionally and she is a BOB (Best of Best) in her communication skills training. Resick-Rennich’s key thoughts in the 6 guidelines that every presentation should include are:
- People receive too much information. One of the fatal mistakes I see my clients make is to shove too much information into a twenty or thirty minute talk. Give the listeners fewer key concepts, no more than three in a thirty minute presentation, and delve deeper into the material that supports the key ideas. Too many ideas lead to a shallow presentation.
- People’s attention and retention spans are short. tAvoid trying to stick a lot of detailed information in your content. The listeners won’t remember it all anyway. The best we can hope for is that the audience members walk away humming your message. Researchers from the International Listening Association say that in one hour the listener’s retention level drops to 50%. In two days it drops to 25%. In one week the listener’s retention level will drop to 10%. So stick to the thoughts in #1. J
- Effective speaking requires not only good content but also some entertainment. Speaking effectively is a balancing act. On one end, there are presentation skills and at the other end there is public speaking. Presentation skills include the content and the value. Public speaking includes the entertainment. We are a visual society, more now than ever.Our competition is advanced technology with MTV-like effects. Our listeners and decision makers are getting younger and younger. J Good presenters are not born; they work hard at developing effective styles and techniques.
- The very reason for a presentation is to convince the audience. The purpose of every presentation is to persuade the audience. How one begins the talk is of utmost importance. Start with the benefits and the advantages. WIIFM (What’s in it for the audience member?) It’s not about you it’s about your audience. Their pain points, their concerns, their WIIFM.
- Four different learning styles make up your audience; make sure you miss no one. Many of us have taken DISC, Meyers Briggs, Birkman and the like. So there are four different learning styles in the audience.
- Supporters first. They are the team players and they want benefits and and the advantages of what you are saying at the beginning of your presentation. Discuss opinions and feelings so as not to put anyones’ position in jeopardy.
- The Drivers should now be your focus. They will want some evidence and facts to support your content. Watch out on too much detail, give them bottom line results.
- Move to Anatytical listeners. These folks will want detail. Include some statistics, graphs, charts and tie new ideas to old ones. Give them supporting data, handouts or a proposal.
- Finish your presentation by reaching out to the Expressive members of your audience. Issue your emotional call to this group of people. End with a bang! They will get your job done after you’re finished your presentation.
- 6. Every presentation must be:
- Exciting … open up with a bang and grab their attention
- Purposeful … good content while thinking of all four learning styles you are addressing
- Lasting…don’t use seven syllable words where a one or two syllable word would suffice
- Stimulating… get the listeners to march and become your raving fans.
Gwen Resick-Rennich is the founder of Resick-Rennich Presentations, a corporate-training, consulting and keynote speaking organization. Her speaking and training versatility have brought her into Fortune 500 companies, small to mid-sized organizations, non-profit organizations, and universities. She has helped professionals internationally in the heath care, legal, banking, real-estate, computer, education, government, media, and sales industries achieve new levels of effectiveness. Resick-Rennich’s credits also include ten years of television as a CBS affiliate news co-anchor, reporter and co-hosts, story producer for Denver’s P.M. Magazine and spokesperson for a major TV network.