TITLE: 30 things you need to know to present brilliantly in business
(from Michelle Bowden’s keynote for EVT August 2023)
1. We persuade and influence our family members, friends, clients, colleagues and managers every day of our life. Our days and filled with negotiating, finding compromise, updating, advising, selling, influencing and persuading.
2. Most people forget that we are actually influencing people all the time. So they treat their communication scenarios like informal conversations and don’t analyse their audience, prepare their message, and they definitely don’t take the time to rehearse. They are likely to ‘wing it’!
3. Expert communicators analyse their stakeholder, prepare their messages and even rehearse the delivery so they increase their chances of success.
4. Expert communicators get into their stakeholder’s shoes and build strong rapport so they can present meaningful, needs based solutions. Expert communicators know how to design, persuasive, powerful, memorable messages and as a result expert communicators hear the word ‘yes’ more often in their life.
5. There are 3 phases to a persuasive presenting in business: Analysis; Design; Delivery.
6. The 5 Step Analysis is as follows: Topic; Goal; Purpose; Leading Statement; Think/Feel/Do.
7. Without some thorough analysis it’s possible you won’t be clear about what you really want to achieve.
8. You can communicate with stakeholders from three ‘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 stakeholder’s 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 stakeholder.
9. Spend more time in 2nd and 3rd position than you currently do!
10. “It’s not about me, it’s all about the audience”. 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 stakeholder 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.
11. 4Mat is the model for crafting a message so it sticks in your audience’s mind and they are compelled to take the action you require.
12. 4Mat addresses the 4 x virtual questions in your audiences’ mind: Why? What? How? What if?/What else?
13. An icebreaker is one way to hook the attention of your audience. There are 3 steps to a great icebreaker: hook; intro/welcome; link to your content.
14. Rapport is all about a relationship or connection with your stakeholders. It’s easier to build rapport with people who are like you.
15. Pacing is being as ‘like’ the other party as possible without mimicking them. You build rapport though matching, mirroring (pacing) people’s body language, eye contact, voice, language, interests, dress and attitudes (to name just a few areas).
16. The way that you pace someone’s attitude is with universals and truisms. Universals and truisms are statements that reflect back to the other party what they already know to be true. We call them ‘pacing statements’ because universals and truisms ‘pace’ your stakeholder’s attitudes.
17. Your leading statement is your key message, it’s often contentious and it must be reasonable. Your leading statement is the thing you are asking your stakeholder for. You don’t have permission to lead an audience without first pacing them.
18. The number of pacing statements that you need to use to be a master of influence is directly related to your existing level of rapport. Note that you can be in (or out) 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.
19. 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 look 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.
20. To meet the needs of your stakeholder, avoid absolutes in your pacing statements such as “never”, “all”, “everyone”, “must”, “should” and use CABS instead: “or not”, “many”, “most”, “some”, “few”.
21. Remember when it comes to persuasion, “No” is just feedback that you didn’t pace enough or properly. “Yes” is feedback that you did.
22. Some people are motivated to move away from pain, other move toward reward. When you motivate your audience try telling them what they will reduce, maintain and improve.
23. There are three main types of objections: content, personal and logistics. It’s best to manage most objections BEFORE they are raised. We manage objections with the POO technique. POO stands for: Pacing Out Objections.
24. There are 5 steps to the POO technique: state the objection; say ‘and’, ‘so’ or pause and say nothing, then say ‘actually’ or ‘in fact’, lead to a solution, and finally use the clever word ‘because’ with a meaningful reason.
25. Be careful of saying ‘But’, ‘However’, ‘Alternatively’, ‘Although’ because they all negate what you have just said and activate the fight/flight response in the stakeholder and incite them to fight you! Choose to say “and”, “so”, or just pause and say nothing.
26. As you can’t always foresee every single objection that could be raised, you can also use the POO technique for managing objections when they are raised.
27. Framing is the technique we use to control and relax our audience/stakeholder. You frame after you have built rapport. If you don’t frame you’ll have a chaotic meeting that’s all over the place, with interruptions and distractions and questions out of scope.
28. Your call to action must be clear, direct and explicit. For example, “Please endorse this business plan.”
29. Q&A is best managed when you elicit questions and then answer them using the template you learnt with me. Look for pages 109 – 117 in the red How to Present book.
30. Your closing statement is short and sweet and sells the sizzle. Look at pages 118-120 in the red How to Present book.
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 communicator who masters the craft of persuasive communication.
Happy presenting! Mx
©2023 MICHELLE BOWDEN CSP is an authority on persuasive presenting in business. She’s run her Persuasive Presentation Skills Masterclass over 970 times for more than 13,000 people over the past 24 years and her name is a synonym for ‘presentation skills’ in Australia. She’s a multi-million-dollar pitch coach to her client list that reads like a who’s who of international business: banking and finance, IT, pharmaceutical, retail, telecommunications plus many more. Michelle is the creator of the Persuasion Smart Profile®, a world-first psychological assessment tool that reports on your persuasive strengths and weaknesses at work, the best-selling internationally published author of How to Present: the ultimate guide to presenting live and online (Wiley) and her new book is called How to Persuade: the skills you need to get what you want (Wiley).