Words matter. The language you use matters. It impacts your mindset. It gives you a definition of yourself that can become limiting.
Have you ever noticed the different ways that waiters introduce themselves to you?
“I’m Rachel, and I’ll be your server tonight.”
“I’m Rachel, and I’ll be taking care of you tonight.”
A subtle difference, but one communicates that my responsibility is to serve you your food and the other communicates that my responsibility is to take care of you – completely.
Have you ever said, or heard someone say ‘I’m bad at math”? What does that tell you? Do they know that it takes 4 quarters to make a dollar? Do they know calculus? For most of us, knowing calculus isn’t important or necessary for our daily lives. So -if you don’t need to know calculus and you don’t know calculus, then why would you say you are bad at math?
Become aware of the words you use. How do they impact your mindset? What do they communicate to others about you? Are they serving you well?
There are several types of presentations, and the best practices for each type are different, so it is important to understand the type of presentation you are creating. In this episode, we are going to specifically focus on how to create a presentation for a meeting.
First, you need to determine if you are putting together a presentation or a reference document.
True or False:
1. Does your presentation regurgitate information that is already available in another type of document, such as Excel or Word?
2. Are you tempted to say ‘I know this slide is an eye chart’?
If you answered true to both of the above, you are creating a reference document. A reference document is not intended to be engaging—it is intended to be available for reference.
But, if what you have is not reference material, then you can start planning for your presentation. First, you need to determine the objective you are trying to accomplish. What is the objective from your perspective? What is the objective from the participant’s perspective? Why are you having the meeting and why did you invite the people that you did?
Thinking through this will help you with defining the objective of your meeting.
Next, you should start to think about the Content of the meeting. What is the content that needs to be covered in the meeting? Are you introducing a problem that needs to be solved? A new product or idea? A new initiative?
Thinking through this will help you with defining what material needs to be covered in your meeting. You can think of this as a meeting agenda if it helps.
Now that you are clear on your objective and agenda, you can start working on the presentation.
Follow these guidelines for an engaging presentation:
1. Less is more—everything you are going to say in the meeting does not need to be on the slide. This isn’t a reference document – you will be presenting the information verbally – which is more engaging.
2. Connect the dots for your audience – use pictures, a flow chart, a graph
3. Stories always help
4. Don’t rely on the slides only—demonstrate in the system, show reference material, etc
Spending a little time on your presentation will help set you apart.
Great Customer Experience is something that a lot of companies aspire to, but not a lot of companies achieve. And, as we know, it is the people within the company that create the experience for their customers, so you have a direct impact on the success of your company.
There is a subtle difference between Customer Service and Customer Experience, but it is an important one. In this episode, we look at the difference and look at a recent experience I had with a company. I called Customer Service to get a piece of equipment returned, but it was the Customer Experience that left an impression with me.
One of the most important ways you can influence others is by building rapport with them. And, the way you build rapport is to understand the lens that they see the world through. The more you know about how people approach their world, the better able you are to reach them.
And, this starts with understanding your own lens. One of the ways you can do this is to understand your personality traits. There are several personality traits assessments available – all of them have their own approach, but all of them have value in helping you understand the differences between people.
In this episode, we dive into one of the oldest personality trait assessments, the Myers Briggs Type Indicator.
One of the most important skills you can develop is your ability to influence people. And, influencing people is tricky, because your natural tendency is to think that it is within your control. But, that isn’t the case. The decisions they make about you are theirs, not yours.
For example, if I say that I own a Prius, what conclusions do you draw about me?
You might think that I’m a tree hugging hippie and that I must be bleeping vegetarian.
Or, you might think that I’m an environmental activist, living in a way that minimizes my impact on the environment, living the ideals that we should all strive for.
But, in either case, that is your conclusion, not mine. You have no idea why I drive a Prius. You don’t know anything about what motivated me to make that decision.
So, when you and I interact, how you see me – as a tree hugging hippie or as an environmental champion will impact the interaction.
This episode examines the filters that we bring to our interactions with others and how we can understand them in order to improve our relationships.
Influencing others is one of the most important thing you’ll need to do over the course of your career. When you need to convince others to buy-in to your idea, you’re going to need to influence them in a way that they are receptive to. You’ll need to tailor the way you present your idea to each person in a manner that they are likely to hear it.
I’m not suggesting you lie about anything. I’m suggesting that, everyone has different personality traits that drive their preferences. Some people are task oriented and others people oriented. Some people are analytical, and others go with their instincts. Your job is to understand their preferences and tailor your message to those preferences. You are providing the same information, just in a format that the other person is more likely to accept.
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