Fit Focus Flair

Just how screwed are we?


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An audience’s willingness to act on your recommendations frequently depends on the severity and breadth of change you’re suggesting.

In other words, your audience’s response to you, rests on how serious your audience thinks the problem is and how dire the consequences of inaction.

‘It is not necessary to change.  Survival is not mandatory.  ‘ ~W. Edwards Deming

The three degrees (not only HRH Prince Charles’ favourite 1970’s girl group) of change are:

1. “You could, possibly, be doing this better.” Things are working, but could be improved. This is a hard concept to get people to buy into because it requires change when there’s no real, compelling ‘have to’, and the benefits of your recommendations aren’t always apparent to them.- You simply have to show them the concrete (usually financial) benefits of what you’re suggesting.

2. “If you don’t fix this, you’re in trouble.” The problem is apparent, and the consequences of not taking action are obvious and easily demonstrated- they may well be accepted by the majority too. This is often the easiest to get people to buy into, although it elevates the stress level and can complicate implementation. You must show the group the likelihood of the consequences of doing nothing, facts, examples from the real world and credible anecdotes are your major weapons.

3. “You’re doomed unless- It’s a major crisis.” The problem is big, and you’re already suffering the consequences. By this time, options may be limited and people aren’t thinking clearly, but they have to do something.  Clients here need reassurance and hope.  Your credentials and experience of similar issues, fully supported by client testimonials will win the day for you.

If your sale depends on people accepting that they have to change, you’re going to have to get good at getting people to take action.  Articulating and proving the state they’re in, and the options open to them are important skills.  Why should they believe you?  Where’s the evidence?  Where’s the proof that what you’re offering will take away their pain.

‘It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.’  ~Charles Darwin

This is a part of my Fit, Focus & Flair model. To be great, a presentation must be a perfect FIT for the situation; the content must have complete FOCUS on it’s purpose and message; and it must have enough FLAIR to stand out on the day, and in our memories. Learn more about developing your Fit, Focus and Flair.

Jim Harvey

Jim Harvey

Managing Director at The Message Business
Jim is the MD of The Message Business, a company which helps FTSE 100 companies to sell themselves, and their products better. Speech writer, Prezi trainer and designer, coach and consultant, Jim also finds time to be a proud father and husband.
Jim Harvey
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