Yesterday Trischel conducted a Presentation Skills Workshop where we had a lively discussion about the effectiveness of business communication. We considered that since we have been ‘communicating’ since we were babies we should know what we are doing. Alas – some of the presentations we have all sat through makes us doubt the truth of that!

After the training, Trish and I discussed the workshop, we were both struck that much of the criticisms of poor presentations focussed on the presenters lack of personal communication skills. So, while modern technology is creating more and more sophisticated equipment to present ideas and information, it appears that audiences still want that personal interaction that creates a ‘valid reason to believe’.

At Trischel, we teach that the most important lesson we need to learn is the balance between the two components of all communication – the intellectual and the emotional; the balance between the information and the listener’s emotional connection.

By clearly defining the purpose of the presentation and understanding the audience we can arrange the intellectual part to focus specifically on the issues of immediate concern to our audience. But to create in our listeners a willingness to ‘believe’ in our credibility we need personal interaction. We need to demonstrate our personal conviction and believe in our product, service or self – and we do that by the personal communication skills we demonstrate.

The participants in our workshop understood instinctively that those presenters who had failed to capture their interest had lacked these very skills. They may not have understood the theory at first, but they clearly identified with the practice.

Both Trish and I are passionate (some say obsessive!) about the quality of personal communication. We both believe that regardless how many and varied are the modern technical objects of communication, these are merely the medium and never the message.

People who fail to realise that create fantastic presentations of technical merit, and are left wondering what went wrong when they fail to achieve the sale, or the contract. By focussing on the medium they ignored those skills which would have sold the message.

So as a quick reminder of what personal communication is all about, here’s a quick look at Trish’s take on ‘Fear today, Gone tomorrow! – from Trischel’s new DVD on public speaking.

Next time you are trying to get through another marathon PowerPoint presentation that misses the mark – remember it should be the medium; never the message – and ask yourself – is it?

Michele @ Trischel

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