Are Your Intentions Known?
“There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” – Aristotle
In your last presentation did your audience know what your intentions were for what they should remember and take action on?
Every presentation you deliver should have a purpose or intention for your audience. Additionally, you should make it explicit what you want them to take action on and in what timeframe they should take action. If you don’t, you have the real chance your audience will “stack” your presentation on top the dust heap of all the other presentations they have heard in the last week, month, and year.
Every speaker wants their presentation to be memorable and to have their audience take action on that memory of their presentation. Don’t you?
Read on to find out how:
State Your Intentions Upfront
I continuously remind my children that when they drive, they need to ensure they do nothing other drivers would not expect like changing lanes without a signal. If they do something the other drivers don’t expect, the chances for an accident increase dramatically!
Do you deliver your presentations without “signaling” to your audiences upfront your intentions for your presentation? If you do, it is like changing lanes without a signal. The “accident” that might happen, is to have your audience befuddled as to what you are trying to put across to them.
You need to use a “turn signal” in your presentation upfront to let them know your intentions. If you don’t signal your intentions early in your presentation, they will be distracted throughout your presentation and, therefore, wondering what is going to come next and not listening to your message. You should eliminate anything that distracts from your message.
Stating your intentions of your presentation upfront is certainly necessary, but it not sufficient? You must weave your intentions of your presentations throughout your presentation.
Restate Your Intentions Throughout Your Presentation
So, we know stating your intentions upfront is not enough. If you want your audience to remember your intentions, you also need to weave them throughout your presentation.
I teach a recurring course. In the first half of the class, I heighten the awareness of a problem to the audience. In the second half of the class, I give the audience five steps they can take to lessen the problem. As I go through the five steps, I have them recite all steps we have covered. Any memory expert will tell you repetition is a great way to remember what you are taught.
Repetition is a precursor to a better memory. Covering your intentions throughout your presentation is a great way to make it memorable for your audience. Was there ever a speaker who didn’t want that?
So, in your presentation you have stated your intentions upfront, you have sprinkled your intentions throughout your presentation, and now you are ready to “hit a home run” to solidify your intentions by restating them in your closing.
Re-Restate Your Intentions at the End of Your Presentation
At this point you may be thinking, “Won’t it be enough to repeat my intentions at the beginning and throughout my presentation? Why would I have to repeat my intentions in my closing?”
Well, this is like in baseball with bases loaded and you striking out for the last out leaving 3 players stranded on base. Ugh! Wouldn’t you rather “hit the ball out of the park” for a “grand slam home run.”
It is the difference, to use a horse racing term, between “losing by a nose” or “winning by a nose.” It has been said, “There are no traffic jams on the extra mile.” Go the extra mile, “win by a nose,” and deliver a memorable presentation for your audience!
To “hit a home run” every time in your presentations, always state your intentions upfront, sprinkle your intentions throughout your presentation, and then “hit a grand slam home run” by solidifying your intentions by restating them in your closing.
Transferring your intentions to your audience in “digestible” amounts in your presentations will make them memorable, and, maybe more importantly, will make you memorable to your audience!/p>
Call to Action
In your next presentation:
State your intentions upfront in your presentations
Sprinkle your intentions throughout your presentation
Hit your “grand slam home run” by restating your intentions in your closing
“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” -T. S. Eliot
DiBartolomeo Consulting International’s (DCI) mission is to help technical professionals to inspire, motivate, and influence colleagues and other technical professionals through improving their presentation skills, communication, and personal presence.
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