1:1 or 1:2 Easy
Just talking to one or two others is okay, apart from the silences when people don't know whether to respond or the awkward moments when we overtalk each other, realise it and then go unnaturally silent for several seconds. It does not add to the natural flow of conversations. Even on a Friday night, on a family catch up with a G&T in hand, the silences and over-talking can become a little irritating.
Lack of Speedy Feedback
Presenting to 15-20 people in a webinar or an informal training or coaching session can differ. I rely on the relaxed feedback audience to adjust my tone, topics, debate and natural flow. The tech does not allow me to do that fast enough to what I consider normal. We are about to highlight how to engage how best to do just that.
The simple thing is; usually, you get instant feedback whether you are talking one-to-one in small or large groups. You scan your audience, and you pick up non-verbal cues to which you can respond. The technology we use does not allow us to take a quick scan to view the audience reaction. It is not immediate enough for me, so consequently, I don't get the feedback as fast as I would typically expect.
We no longer have the luxury of adapting to audience reaction and are not always sure if we are on target and getting our message delivered. That's a challenge that I will have to deal with soon, as I have a big presentation coming up. I have selfishly missed the face to face presentations for the simple reason that they provide the adrenalin and energy that keeps me on my toes.
Design for Audience needs, not Presenters preferences
So, I thought it might be a good idea to put some of my ideas for getting the most from our tech media sessions and rely on a client's advice, Ian Millar, VP of Manufacturing Strategy at CNH. We often presented together over many years in Plants and Conferences in the UK, Europe, Canada and the USA to multi-cultural audiences. We worked hard on preparation because the needs of the audiences differed widely. We agreed one's presentation should not be the first rehearsal, especially when we presented to company engineering conferences when selling our approach and methodology.
We needed to identify audience needs first, and then a structure outlined below to portray our enthusiasm and energy in our team delivery style. However, we first considered the possible objections the audience could have to our message and did as best we could an audience review of dominant attitudes for and against, and how to counter any challenges or disagreements and how best to inoculate against them before designing the presentation in detail.
We worked on the premise that 'less is more' and for each presentation, we always ensured the following:
Presentation Design & Flow
a. State what the SUBJECT is precisely
b. Define the NEED is that you are trying to fulfil
c. Describe your IDEA as simply as possible
d. Define the BENEFITS of your idea for all constituencies
e. Provide evidence to back your case in the FOLLOWING CATEGORIES
- From business EXPERIENCE
- Provide an ANALOGY
- Deliver the results of an EXPERT
- State an EXAMPLE
- Provide STATISTICS and OPINIONS
- State a FACT
g. Explore your next STEPS specifically.
Retracing these steps has undoubtedly helped me focus on my Zoom calls and highlighted and eliminated a barrier to immediate audience feedback. We still have to convey our words in the message, add tonality and add our body language to boost the message's intensity. I can still bring more energy when taking any Zoom or phone calls standing up, supported by a newly purchased standing desk.
I would be interested to know what others have done to add energy and enthusiasm to their phone and Zoom or Teams calls.