25 things every Meeting Leader needs to know

(from Michelle Bowden’s keynote presentation in September 2011)

1. You can communicate with members from three potential ‘positions’. 1st position is where you are in your own shoes – completely self indulgent and all you care about is yourself. 2nd position is where you are completely and utterly in your members’ shoes. 3rd Position is the helicopter view. From up in 3rd Position you can see your needs (1st Position) and you can see their needs (2nd Position) so from 3rd Position you can make some very good decisions about what is best for you and what is best for your client. Spend more time in 2nd and 3rd position than you currently do!

2. P = Position shifting; O = Control; W = Walk; E = Embed; R = Rapport.  All together this gives you POWER!

3. Expert communicators analyse their members, prepare their messages and even rehearse the delivery so they increase their chances of success.

4. Expert communicators get into their members’ shoes and build both conscious and deep unconscious rapport so they can present meaningful, needs based solutions.

5. Expert communicators know how to design, persuasive, powerful, memorable messages and as a result expert presenters compel their members to action.

6. Super Leader – is in CONTROL!

7. You can’t really connect with your members unless you’ve taken the time to be in control. You need to be in control of your self, your message and your environment. “I am in control!”

8. Rapport is all about a relationship or connection with your audience. It’s easier to build rapport with people who are like ourselves.

9. You can’t ask for anything unless you are in rapport – well you can ask but they’ll probably say “no”!

10. Pacing is being as ‘like’ your audience as possible without mimicking them. You build rapport though pacing their energy and the speed, volume and pitch in their voice.

11. You can also pace your audience’s attitudes.

12. Universals and truisms are statements that reflect back to the audience what they already know to be true. We call them ‘pacing statements’ because universals and truisms ‘pace’ your client’s attitudes.

13. You don’t have permission to ask for anything until you have first paced them.

14. The number of pacing statements that you need to use to be a master of influence is directly related to the existing level of rapport.

15. Note that you can be in (or out of) rapport using two separate criteria: 1. Personally; 2. Contextually.  If rapport is non-existent using either criteria you need at least 3 pacing statements before you lead.

16. The filter that determines our propensity to accept information on face value or not is called the Matcher/Mismatcher filter.  People with a matching preference are those who look for what is true and correct, for what matches what they know to be true. People with a mismatching preference look for what is different to what they know to be true – where their reality is different to the presenter’s reality.

17. To meet the needs of both preferences in your client group avoid absolutes in your pacing statements such as “never”, “all”, “everyone”, “must”, “should” and use CABS instead: “or not”, “many”, “most”, “some”, “few”.

18. “No” is just feedback that you didn’t pace enough or properly.

19. It’s not about me, it’s all about the client. It’s not about what you want to say or the way you want to say it, it’s not about how you want to stand, sit or move your body, and it’s definitely not about the PowerPoint slides you want to show. It’s all about your client and what they need to hear from you in order to understand your message and change their behaviour accordingly. Understand this and you’ll never be ‘nervous’ or lacking confidence as a communicator again.

20. There is a reason why people don’t respond well to you when you ask, ‘Any questions?’  It’s because the question is too broad for the brain. So the brain goes into a massive ‘spin out’ trying to find something in infinity to ask and it’s all too hard, so the audience can’t easily think of anything decent to ask you or contribute!

21. If you were looking for some specific information on the World Wide Web you would need to type in the best key words for the search.  If you type the wrong keyword you’ll get the wrong search result, whereas, if you type the right key word you’ll get a much more useful search result.  The same goes for eliciting questions from your audience.

22. As the presenter, you need to enter the best key words in your audience’s brain so they can effortlessly search for a more specific response or question. This is called ‘embedding search hooks’. It’s where you tell the brain what to search for.

23. There a specific way to elicit questions effectively. You say: ‘I am interested in your questions. For example you may have a question about x, y, or maybe even z. Who would like to start? What questions do you have?’

24. When you use this technique you will reduce the weird silences, maintain the flow of your information and increase the chances of your audience asking you the exact question you’d like to answer!  Try this – it’s great and it definitely works.

25. Audiences are made up of people with a variety of personality filters.

26. There is a personality filter that explains how we process and sort information.

27. The most common filters that presenters should understand and stimulate when they are delivering their message are the visual, auditory and kinesthetic filters.

28. There are a variety of things presenters can do to stimulate the visual, auditory and kinesthetic preferences of their audience members.

29. Once the meeting is over, expert leaders take 5 minutes to think through what went well, what they need to do more of, and what they should improve.  So take the time to congratulate yourself on the things that went well in the meeting and determine where you need to improve for next time.

I know you know this, it’s not rocket science, so take the time to plan your meetings in advance, analyse your performance at the conclusion of every meeting and continuously strive to be an expert leader who compels your audience to really ‘kick some xx’ in their weight loss journey.

Good luck!