Recently, one of my colleagues had a fascinating conversation with a talented young professional who grew up in China. Apparently all of the students in her high school studied English as a Second Language. Part of their ESL curriculum included watching videos of Americans giving speeches. The goal? Learn the patterns and rhythms of "The American UM."
Handouts are often a vital part of every face to face presentation, how you deal with them and your clients can be tricky. The key is to not confuse your clients, instead make it easy for them to know how and when to use these visual aids.
Did you accomplish your 2017 goals? If yes, congratulations, you are ahead of most people. If not, no worries, we are only two weeks into 2018. However, we'd like to suggest that you reflect on the goals you didn't accomplish and see if you discover whether of not "communication" was a common factor. Did you communicate clearly enough via email, text, or in person? Did you ramble, and take way too much time talking about irrelevant details that your audience didn't care about?
When we dig into communication challenges with our clients, we find the examples above are very common and do pose problems for those they are trying to communicate to, and with. Especially when you are communicating upward, make it easy for your listeners to process and understand what you are communicating. If you don't, you risk being misunderstood, or worse, getting overlooked for future opportunities.
So now, do you think the quality of your communication had anything to do with not hitting your targets? We'd bet if you took a hard honest look, you'd find that indeed your communication had a lot to do with many unmet goals.
Standing in front of an audience and presenting information effectively is often difficult, even with a neutral or ambivalent audience. What's more challenging is an angry audience peppering you with tough questions while you attempt to maintain composure. How you handle Q & A will most certainly influence the audience's perception of you, and possibly reflect poorly on your organization. Do a great job dealing with questions for 45 minutes...they will be impressed. Stumble and stammer for 5-10 seconds during the first 2 questions, prepare yourself to deal with negative feedback that will likely follow.
Throughout the course of our career's in the communications field, we've had many participants share some really good ideas that they picked up somewhere along the way. On the flip side, we've heard some really lousy ideas too, that in some case are totally counter to what we suggest.
Please take a look at the 5 Q & A techniques listed below. Let us know which one's you think we'd say were good, and which one's might be counter to our recommendations. HINT: the techniques below will be a mix of good and lousy ideas.