Presentations when they hearing a different message
I’m saying the same thing. Why are they hearing a different message?
This common frustration, voiced by many team leaders is often the reason great projects or proposals with incredible initial momentum struggle to make it through to implementation. In fact, presenting one’s ideas in a way that inspires and influences listeners to act on them is the single most critical skill required of leaders at all levels today. Leaders who aren’t professional speakers or presenters can learn a lot from observing those who ARE comfortable in front of audiences.
Saying the same thing (presenting the same content) to each audience or each individual whose role and responsibilities (context for incorporating that content) may be quite unique, won’t ensure understanding. And if they don’t “get it,” how can they “act on it?” Even if audience participants do understand the new project, the new process or initiative, how will they know why or how they should react let alone what’s in it for them? What difference will it make if they are on board or not? And how will they integrate these new ideas into their existing processes and procedures or worldview?
By presenting YOUR vision; you further YOUR needs. In order to gain ownership and energy around making that vision a reality, you must contribute to THEIR expectations; THEIR needs while allaying THEIR fears.
Get to know as much as you can about your audience; their unique preferences for learning something new, their working styles, the activities they perform in the context of their daily work, their current expertise and knowledge about what you’re offering and what you expect. You’ll benefit from understanding THEIR expectations as well as THEIR unique values and motivations before articulating YOUR vision and expecting them to follow.
When you prepare to present your ideas, be sure to integrate examples and stories complete with acronyms and language that are relevant to the specific listeners. Let the audience create a desired ending or reach a final conclusion. Solicit from them strategies they will use to incorporate into their routines the ideas you expect them to take action on and be open to deal with their hesitation Create opportunities for them to problem solve with you together so that they have some ownership for a new, collaborative vision that inspires everyone.
Be sure to change how you present those same ideas to a new audience or individual based on THEIR expectations, needs, values and motivations, too. You’ll discover that a bit of preparation and a few minor changes in how you deliver your message will influence others to accomplish more than you ever expected.
Sheila Krejci, M.Ed HRD
Leadership & Learning and Developmental consultant Sheila Krejci specializes in helping experts craft and deliver compelling presentations motivating their audiences with a call to action. She designs and delivers research-based, interactive workshops, training events, individual and peer coaching sessions with professionals in all industries called upon to share their expertise with others. She is an award winning authorized partner in Wiley Publishing and author of The Engaging Expert: a Fieldbook for Occasional Presenters & Accidental Trainers and Read about how Networking is a Lifetime Skill: Giving, encouraging and supporting without keeping score.