Communication Tips with Anthony Vincent Bova
Making technical information interesting 101
It's 3 p.m. and you are beginning a presentation on generation and transmission. Ten minutes in, the audience's eyes collectively glaze over when you reference a set of research statistics just released. You’ve lost the attention of your audience. How did this happen?! My clients often come to me and say, “it’s the topic”, “they know this information already”, “they don’t care”, or “it’s not interesting”. Even if this is true, that’s only a fraction of the problem.
You were asked to speak because you are the industry expert. While your resume may have gotten you into the position, your audience cares most about your perspective and your values about the subject. But here's what we forget: As communicators and presenters, what the audience understands and remembers most is not what is in the content, but rather your point of view (POV) and values about your content. In other words, as the presenter, if you assume they know the information, don’t care about the topic, or don’t find it interesting, you are going to the plate with two strikes against you by justifying your failure before you even start. By doing this you are giving your audience no choice but to zone out. Furthermore, this reaction usually creates a downward domino effect with your confidence.
All solutions are based on one overriding adjustment:
You must authentically change your POV and values regarding your message. You must authentically view your message with very high value and importance, with the ability to express your values. If you don’t, all your tricks, stories and PowerPoints will only magnify your communication blemish.
How do you authentically communicate your POV towards your message? In my coaching sessions, I facilitate my clients through a series of exercises that aid them in authentically communicating an empowered POV towards their message. In short, your audience mirrors you. If you don’t have an emotional investment, they won’t either. If you don’t communicate what’s at stake, your audience won’t feel there is much at stake. And always remember, if you believe it is only the content that is important, then you are not needed to present it. Send it out in a memo.