There are six words that will transform your next presentation, if you understand how to use them effectively. And sincerely. Are you ready to create the change you need for your next presentation?
Have you ever answered a question that no one has asked, in your presentation?
You know what I’m talking about (and, if you don’t, perhaps you should google “self-awareness“?). You’re standing up there, pushing forward towards slide 97, barreling through your content and feeling great about hitting all your bullet points…but your audience just isn’t with you.
So many presentations focus on just the message – the features, the products, the customer-service philosophy. Message is important, but – I would submit for your consideration – not the most important part of your story.
Your message is sort of like your company’s brand – it’s a promise delivered, in some form or fashion. Your message – your story – is a branded idea, if you’ve really done your homework to create an in-depth presentation.
Yet, so many presenters forget who controls the power of their brand.
It’s actually the audience.
That’s right. Just as customers really determine the value of the brand (not the company) so too will your listeners determine the value of your presentation.
If the story starts and ends with the audience, here are six words that can make a difference. When you are talking to your boss, your team, your investors or your entire organization, consider these six words as your personal connection point:
The six words are: “What would it mean to you…”
If you are speaking one-on-one, you must sincerely ask this question. The ellipses (also called ‘three dots in a row’, where I’m from) are there for you to fill in the blanks around the subject at hand. Maybe it’s a proposal for a new warehouse in Dutchess County. Or an initiative that targets British Columbia. Or a great idea for Sushi on Friday night.
Add an “if” at the end and pose your most powerful question.
Sincerely and clearly asking that question – and listening closely to the response – will make sure your conversation never gets off track. Before you move on to slide 97, get clear on your vision – and get clear on what it means to your listener. (Six words! That’s all it takes).
Even if you are speaking to a large group, where rhetorical questions are more popular, consider what your proposal would mean to your audience. But don’t assume you have all the answers.
Want to transform your presentation? The answer lies in your audience. But only if you’re willing to use these six words: “What would it mean to you (if…)”
The answers are right in front of you, if you’ve got the courage to really connect with your audience. Better find out what your solution means to them, if you want to move your message forward.