Thank you for your success stories and questions. For years, we’ve been teaching presenters how to use the ADAP formula – Audience Driven, Authentic Presentations, to produce winning presentations. Usually the focus is on the first part – how to be audience-driven. This month, people asked about Authenticity and I thought we’d discuss it.
Audience-Driven means that a presentation has to understand the audience’s full-set of needs/wants and deliver the information in a way which:
- Acknowledges the limitations in the presentation setting (e.g., how much time will the prospect give full-attention) and conform to that reality
- Resonates with the audience’s value system and uses power words to create enthusiasm
- Recognizes personal and external resistances that the prospect (and her/his colleagues) may have to adopt a new framework and provide the hard data and social support to overcome them, develop trust, and facilitate acceptance
- Advocates action which is easy to understand and doable by the prospect.
This week a major presentation was made by a client to a C-level executive at a top financial firm. The original presentation had the facts, but there was no “energy” in the presentation to motivate the prospect to take the risk or see the presenter as a “trusted advisor” with the necessary expertise to execute. In the new presentation, the presenter adopted a framework that made it clear that their solution could align all external and internal forces to give prospect the “firepower” necessary to succeed with the complex project. Deal sealed.
We’re not always witness to an inauthentic presentation, but the nation saw an example, that’s not often so public. When the President first addressed the issues involved with what happened at the Charlottesville rally, you could tell he was speaking from his heart. When criticized for not blaming the groups advocating bigotry, he gave a speech the following day designed to address the criticism. People who watched/listened to it noted its lack of enthusiasm with a low-level cadence that accompanies reading copy written by someone else. That apparent lack of authenticity was confirmed when he volunteered to speak on the issue the next day, reinforcing the initial position and reversing the prior day’s comments. The lesson for all of us: make sure the message you deliver is one that’s authentic to you – so you present it persuasively.
Keep sharing your ADAP-related experiences. If you want to master it, attend one of our workshops (see presentationexcellence.com) or request one-on-one coaching/consulting.