Presentatation Training for Ideas, Vision and Leadership
Recently, I felt inspired by the values written across the top of the Armed Forces Journal: Ideas, Vision and Leadership. http://www.afji.com/
With this in mind, here are three ways to share ideas, promote vision and demonstrate leadership… without relying on slides:
Step 1. Share Ideas in Conversation
What is the most important part of a presentation or briefing?
Active conversation. Intense discussion. Lively Q & A. This is when people can really get to the meat of ideas and approach decisions with rigorous debate.
A lot of people shy away from debate. They steer clear passionate discussion. Why? Because they feel cautious, nervous or on guard. They are not sure how to share ideas with peers, teams or superiors.
What is the best way to get comfortable? Stay open.
Stay open minded rather than rigidly on-task. Stay open… listen deeply. Seek to truly understand what people are saying. Get to the core of what they are asking. When you are openhearted, it is easier to respond with care to concerns, issues and questions.
With an open conversational style in presenting, you can transform a routine briefing into an important and valuable event.
Step 2. Show Vision with Pictures
Recent research confirms what many of us have intuitively known for a long time: vision is best portrayed with visuals.
The work of Dr. John Medina, author of Brain Rules, highlights the brain functioning for why this is true. He states: “Vision trumps all other senses.”
This is why it’s important to share your vision–visually.
What kind of visual? A wide array of options: charts, diagrams, hand-drawn sketches at a whiteboard, photos to name a few.
Here are a few options:
- Use a storybook display to show ideas
- Show and tell your vision at a flipchart
- Sketch diagrams and frameworks at a whiteboard
- Draw process charts to highlight sequences and strategic flows
- Use colorful shapes to describe options
- Involve your audience in building the picture with you
What do these methods have in common? They invite collaboration, conversation and innovation. And one more thing. Visual impact is a broader universe than what shows up on a slide.
Step 3. Model Leadership with Specific Action
To demonstrate true leadership, define specific actions. Great leaders know this to be true in every communication.
Start with action as your true goal in every presentation. Focus on action. Before you build a storyboard. Before you work out your words. Before you plan your pictures.
Ask yourself a single question: “What do I want people to do?”
By do, I mean act, decide or take the next step.
Where can you use this 3-step approach? In every presentation. Whether formal or informal. In emails, voice mails, virtual presentations and face-to-face events. By taking a careful and strategic approach to presenting, you can and will rise to the challenge.