Does it ever seem like your audience is just not getting your message? This can be really frustrating. Especially if you come to realize, like I occasionally have, that your meeting or presentation may just be…boring.
Even though the constitution guarantees us free speech, it unfortunately does not guarantee us listeners.
Let me provide you with three strategies. If you implement these strategies, I can assure you that the attendant interest level and meeting engagement will increase.
- Take responsibility for your listeners. Prepare for them. Pay attention to how they are responding when you are communicating. Use their language. If you are a CEO or President running a company and you’re running a team meeting or a company-wide meeting, ditch the balance sheet talk. Talk in terms of those represented in your audience—the people who you really need to hear your message. A good rule of thumb is to think of the lowest level employees that will be in the meeting, and build your presentation like it is made for them.
- Say it so it sticks. Keep it simple. Remember, complexity is the enemy of execution. As my mentor, John Maxwell, says, as leaders we want to keep the cookies on the lower shelf. In other words, we want to make it easy for those we want to influence to reach up and grab hold of what we are communicating.
- Tell stories. This is undoubtedly the most important point. Facts tell; stories sell. I would encourage you to think of the last meeting you were in. When was the last time you heard someone speak? What did you take away from that meeting?
What everyone remembers is a story that made them laugh, or the point that we all thought was important. Nobody remembers the facts, the figures, or the bullet points. It’s all about the story.
Follow these strategies and work on keeping your meetings interesting. Soon, you’ll have a team that is highly engaged in the message you want to deliver.