How often have you presented a great initiative only to have it fall on deaf ears? Too many people think features and benefits will sell their idea. Features and benefits help…. but there is a magic step that has to happen first.
Let’s explore this idea together….
The one question in every person’s mind when they attend a presentation or meeting is simply this… WHY?
Why should I pay attention to this, what is the significance of this?
Why is it specifically me who needs to listen to this conversation/presentation?
Why are you the one delivering this communication?
Why is this important now?
The “why” questions here are all about relevance to the client or team member, they want to know the intention and value to them from what you’re saying and doing and they want it fast! If you have the relevance to them buried later in your presentation, you’ve missed your chance with them.
Have you heard the saying “You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink”?
Have you ever thought about why that is?
The answer of course is that it needs to be thirsty, before it will drink, just as your audience needs to be open and interested in what you have to say, before they will listen.
Warm bodies inhabiting chairs do not constitute an open and engaged audience.
As an effective communicator, making sure your audience is thirsty first is the initial step in engaging and capturing the attention of your audience. The way to do that is to tap into “WHY” this would matter, be of benefit, to them, before you tell them WHAT it is…
This is called the ‘Why Frame’… where relevance is framed from the audience perspective. The Why Frame is about creating interest, curiosity, anticipation, engagement and, most importantly, attracting attention.
The Mastering Communication Program with Colin James & Erica Bagshaw explores an advanced and proven framework that effective communicators use as a presentation technique.
The complete model is an integration of learning styles and engaging the ‘whole brain’ in a sequence that follows the natural cycle of learning. For real learning to take place, all parts of the learning cycle must be addressed, starting from:
- Next Steps/What Else?
The role of an effective communicator is to construct and deliver a ‘Why Frame’ that will keep your audience interested enough to keep listening to you as you journey through the rest of the frame-work outlining your ideas.
It’s in the ‘WHY’ frame that you engage the imagination, seek personal associations, values and involvement, which you can reiterate and emphasise through the rest of your presentation.
To truly create interest and capture commitment you must help your audience recognise how powerful your idea can be by creating relevance and value first.