A keystone of Presentation Excellence training is ADAP – making sure that all your presentations are Audience Drive, Authentic Presentations. After the pandemic, home lockdowns, and return to virtual and hybrid offices, this principle applies not only to formal presentations, but also the information ones with workers we’re no longer interacting with regularly – and therefore may not be as connected as we once were. The current economic slowdown or recession heightens the importance of really knowing our audience and making sure what we say and do resonates with them, now.
Soren Kaplan’s article, Empathy: The Currency of Human Connection and Innovation, drives this point home.
Over the past two years, people have changed in ways we may not readily understand. Whether we’re communicating with clients/customers, employees, investors, strategic allies, etc., understanding what the audience needs to know at any given time, translates into having an empathetic relationship with them. We should not assume that we understand our customers current needs based on prior experiences. Before preparing the presentation, immerse yourself in their world. Find out what their needs are, and if appropriate, include innovations that will meet their newly developed needs. That will generate opportunities.
Take to heart his recommendation that you connect with a customer to understand their needs based on what they now:
- Explicitly say
- Emotionally evoke
- Think about
- Do in public and private
By doing so, you will convert observations into insights; that will enable you to provide more value to the customer and close the deal.