Changing Our Presentation Mindset

Overcoming the #PPTReaper

As I have said many times this week, the same approach to our presentations is no longer working. People have way too many ways to escape while still sitting right in front of us. We can no longer simply expect people to sit still and listen. The modern business person is expected to multitask, which means they do not have time to sit and listen to something they believe is not for them.

We must change how we treat the audience. Many presenters of yesteryear thought that since they were being hired to come in and speak, the audience must want to hear what they have to say. While that is true, there is a caveat. The audience does want to hear what you say, but they really want to hear how your words and message will improve their lives both at their jobs and with their families.

Not only should you consider them, but we should tailor our presentation for them. It is their show, not ours. So, what do they want? Consider yourself a member of your audience and no longer the presenter. How would you react to your presentation? Would you get bored? What areas do you think are exciting? If you don’t know, then you need to think about it. One thing you can be sure of is they do not want to blindly read your slides.

This is the Way We Have Always Done It!

Some will jump on board and never look back at their death by PowerPoint slides again. Welcome home. However, there are those that still believe that we should brand every slide because that is the way we have always done it. Work with them. As I suggested yesterday, it is a process. You will need to help people understand why this process is better. Change is hard, which will mean that you need to lead them through it.

Don’t be afraid of other perspectives, and spend your time listening to their concerns. Their reasons may actually be valid; imaging that! Spend the time to hear their points of view and they will most likely give you the same respect. Learn from them and they will learn from you. As author and motivational speaker Leo Buscaglia said:

Man pulling curtain of darkness to reveal a new better world. Change.

Changing Our Presentation Mindset

The first step is to realize we have a choice. We can choose to stay the same. If things are working for you then do not change! I have worked for companies that enjoyed changing things just for the sake of changing something. Do not change just for change sake, which drives people nuts.

However, if the way you were doing it before is not working for you, it is time for a change. In most companies, the way we present anything is not working. There are far too many distractions in today’s world. Smartphones that constantly buzz and beep to draw your attention away, tablets, laptops which allow constant access to emails and chat programs, watches that control your home thermostat, the list goes on.

I have even seen a device that lets you see your dog on your smartphone, talk to it, and hit a button to drop a dog biscuit for them to chew. The kicker to it is, the dog can push a button on the device to call YOU! Now I am a dog person, but this has put distraction to a whole new level.

We should change how we do things if they are not working for us. If not, we are stuck in the same of issues.

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