Master Your Message Blog

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You get judged by your opening

Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink”

In the first few seconds, as you walk on stage, your audience is “sizing you up.” They’re figuring out whether they like you and are going to listen to you. They’re also making a decision as to whether you’re funny or not and whether you know what you’re talking about. There’s a great book called “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell about that split second when people subconsciously judge you. We all do it.

The opening of any presentation is THE most important element. It can make or break you as a presenter.

So, it’s important to think about your first few seconds on stage. I recently critiqued a new professional speaker who started her talk by coming on stage all smiles and giving Read More …

Virtually every presentation has to persuade someone of something.

Now you might argue that point by saying that some presentations are informational. That may be true. But there’s usually a desire on the part of the presenter to persuade the audience that the information is important, or that they should do something with that information after the talk is complete.

Setting up a persuasive presentation is actually relatively easy. You want to make sure your audience knows why you’re all assembled there – usually there’s a problem or opportunity. It’s your job as the presenter to state what it is so that you and the audience are “on the same page.”

Once the problem is on the table, it’s time to deal with the solution. Read More …

NOTE: This terrific article comes from Judy Carter and gives a great example of why it’s so important to start any presentation, email, or other persuasive business communication with a problem …
There’s a secret to have your resume rise to the top of a job pile. It’s the same technique that makes a comedy club audience laugh, or that gets everyone at your next meeting to stop texting and start listening to you. You get people’s attention by making your cover letter, your first joke, or your opening remarks about THEM.
 
I posted a job on Craigslist and LinkedIn recently — and I was immediately swamped with over 100 applicants.
 
I deleted some of the applications as soon as I read them. Read More …

Relator – A Friend Forever

 SELF matrix relator personality styleYour message should be tweaked based on who your audience is. If you’re delivering a presentation to a marketing group, it’s got to be positioned differently than if you’re delivering to a room of engineers. And your style of delivery should change—for maximum impact.

How? It depends on your audience’s personality style.

If you tend to speak to groups related to the health care field or other public services, you’re used to relators. Relators are fabulous audiences. They’re warm and caring, but can be more easily offended than others.

Relators always have time to hear about problems and are genuinely interested in helping you find a solution. However, drivers tend to lose patience with them. You see, drivers are Read More …

Analyst – Everything in Its Place 

Analyst personality style on SELF matrix

Your message should be tweaked based on who your audience is. If you’re delivering a presentation to a marketing group, it’s got to be positioned differently than if you’re delivering to a room of engineers. And your style of delivery should change—for maximum impact.

How? It depends on your audience’s personality style.

Analysts are the logical thinkers of the group. They like routine. They’re conservative, bottom-line-minded, and meticulous. Their offices are generally the most pristine, organized places on earth.

If you have them as your audience, you’d better have done your homework! And if you’re handing out evaluation forms, you’d better have a thick skin. Analysts like everything to be perfect, organized, and logical. They’ll let you know Read More …

Initiator – A Gift for the Gab 

SELF initiator personality style

Your message should be tweaked based on who your audience is. If you’re delivering a presentation to a marketing group, it’s got to be positioned differently than if you’re delivering to a room of engineers. And your style of delivery should change—for maximum impact.

How? It depends on your audience’s personality style. 

An audience of initiators are the most fun audience you’ll ever have. They’re outgoing, have great imaginations, and are always up for a good time. They’re the life of the party.

Then again, if you’re a member of the opposite personality style group, you might not think so. You might think of them as loud or pushy, a bit arrogant, maybe, and somewhat superficial – Read More …

In persuasive presentations, you need to get to the point. Stories have their place, but it’s usually not at the beginning of a presentation, unless it’s structured so that the point is obvious … and alluded to up front.

Lady being persuasive in front of a small groupI was in Toronto recently sitting across from my brother. We had  been invited to a friend’s house for a dinner in honor of my mother, who was turning ninety. The phone rang. It was the host. I could hear the entire conversation as it continued on. After the usual pleasantries, she began to tell a story of having a last minute client request that would have her unexpectedly work during the afternoon, which meant she would have to drive into town, do the work, and Read More …

I like to travel in a jacket and dress slacks. There’s a reason for that. I think I get better treatment.

Over many years, I’ve proven that theory to myself, although some of the examples are arguable. This has not been a scientific study, after all.

I just got back from Kansas City. On the way there, I had to pick up a pre-booked rental car. The agent tried to up sell me, of course, and I had to tell her that the car was booked by a third party and I had no flexibility in price. However, I ended up getting an upgrade anyway – four levels above what was originally booked. I’m convinced that if I’d been in jeans and somewhat unkempt in Read More …