The people we speak with, or to, are under no obligation to actually listen to what we are saying. With so many choices available for information and content, it’s very easy for people to “change the channel” away from you and your message, and divert their attention to a message more relevant to them.
As my colleagues and I say all the time, we are living in a noisy world. It is hard to be heard, and we need to earn the right to be heard.
So how will you earn that right, and keep your audience interested?
Here are a few thoughts that may be helpful to you:
Prepare appropriately and correctly. Spend the bulk of your preparation time (which clearly implies that some preparation is required), thinking about who is in the room, what they will care about and how you can make your topic relevant to them. Don’t think exclusively about what you think is most important. Think about what they think will be most important and valuable.
Filter out the details, with unemotional brutality. Details matter, and you have to be able to provide them. But don’t assume all of them need to be covered in your next conversation, meeting or presentation. Let the details get pulled out during the discussion or follow-up Q&A. Keep the audience interested in the high points, and let them dive deeper with you through their questions.
Get to the point quickly. Your business audience hates suspense. We’re not writing movie scripts here. Lead with the conclusion, and then backtrack and tell them how you got there.
If you don’t employ techniques like these, your audience will lose interest, quickly, and quite simply change the channel to something else.
Don’t be the person who bores everyone to death. That’s bad for you, your brand and your organization.
Have a great day.
We believe that great communication skills change the world. We transform people and organizations of all sizes with simple, repeatable techniques, through an integrated platform of corporate training, coaching, and asynchronous learning.
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