This week I received two requests to help with presentation skills, one for a finance professional and one for a group of about 80 analysts.
In both cases presentation skills were not the main issue.
In my opinion, they were just ‘tip of the iceberg'.
The real problem lies in synthesising findings into a clear, insightful, outcome-oriented message.
Let me explain with a diagram and then the back story.
From what I could see, the issue that I was being asked to solve: ‘standing with confidence' and ‘projecting their voice', were the least of their problems.
In both cases, presenters lost confidence when they received the wrong kinds of questions that led to the wrong kinds of discussions … and slow or no decisions.
When messages are not well synthesised decision makers ask questions that help them understand the message. This often involves diving into minute detail as decision makers attempt to do the thinking work themselves.
I see this most when recommendations are buried among a long series of facts. It forces decision makers to connect the dots between the facts, which leads them to lose the thread. This in turn leads them to ask questions to clarify the message rather than discussing the issue.
Conversations become convoluted, at times feeling more like an interrogation than a discussion. They also rarely lead to a high-quality or fast decision.
This is frustrating for all concerned and why I prioritise thinking skills.
I teach you to connect the dots into a well-synthesised message, so your audience doesn't have to.
Later this month I will hold a Thinking Skills MasterClass to uncover the skills essential to synthesising powerful messages.
This will then help you receive the right kinds of questions … and enjoy greater confidence when presenting your ideas in any forum.
PRESENTED BY DAVINA STANLEY
Davina has helped smart people all over the world clarify and communicate complex ideas for 20+ years.
She began this work when she joined McKinsey & Company as a communication specialist in Hong Kong where she helped others use the Minto Pyramid PrincipleⓇ.
She continued helping others when living in New York, Tokyo and now back in Australia where she was approved by Barbara Minto herself to teach Pyramid.
Her clients include experts across many disciplines across Australia, Asia Pacific, New Zealand, the UK and the US. She currently coaches a number of C-suite executives as well as many mid-level folk and the occasional graduate.
Get her 4 Tips for Communicating Complex Ideas here.