Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Informally Formal

Providing a level of informality in a small-group formal presentation is best done through a team approach. Two people are adequate for the format. While one is presenting the planned program a second team member watches the audience for attention and for key points to emphasize. If the eyes glaze over, it is appropriate for the non-presenter to interrupt, interject, and question the presenter. This does several things. 1) It lets the audience know that it is alright to ask questions or to interject their thoughts. 2) It makes the presentation less formal and 3) It regains their attention.

It is critical to keep the audience fully engaged in what you are saying. It is also important to repeat key points in multiple ways. Typically a person must hear something 4 or 5 times before it is learned. This is especially true if you are attempting to shift their paradigm. If they are not used to the logical progression that you want them to follow or you are presenting something that doesn't fit their preconceptions, you will have to present the same information multiple times to change their thinking.

It is a fine line between presenting the same information in multiple ways versus repeating yourself. You don't want to just be repetitive. Sometimes you must be creative in order to reiterate a point. One of the oldest rules is to "tell them, tell them again, and then tell them what you told them." It is always better if you can tell them with pictures. Most people are visual learners. Paint the picture for them and they will learn it more quickly than if you just cover them with facts.

Well, once again it is obvious where my mind is focused. Tomorrow will be a long day but I always am excited about these opportunities. Whether I close the sale tomorrow or it is just a step toward the close, it is going to be a good day. It's the journey, not the destination.


Blazing Cat Fur said...

Best Wishes, knock em dead.

bigwhitehat said...

You should teach speech at Canyon.

Ranando said...

Good luck.

Panhandle Poet said...

Thanks for the good wishes to all. The meeting went very well. No deals closed but I think we are close. Follow-up follow-through time!