Do Fear Messages Really Work?

We were debating this question at a presentation workshop I ran last week. It’s an important issue whether you are Extinction Rebellion or you are talking about a tough issue with your team or customers. The answer is surprising.

The answer is yes and no.

Fear works well to gain attention. The Extinction Rebellion rallies really make me sit up. They create great stories to tell.

But if you want people to act you need to move sharply into action-oriented messages, or they will switch off. If we are bombarded with just negativity, it all becomes too difficult and too overwhelming, so we talk a lot, but we do nothing.

It’s also about setting out specific and easy first steps. First steps so we can see the reward. So, to stick with the environmental theme – the articles you see about ‘5 Things You Can Do Today’ are positive and helpful. (But they need to be told with more oomph!)

The interesting kicker on all this is that if what you are suggesting does not resonate with someone’s values, social norms or things that are important to them it won’t work. The coal industry in Australia has tried positive messaging but this has been very much received as spin soundbites. Gosh. Perhaps that means we do see through fake news? Now there’s a thought.

If you would like to tell your story to encourage awareness and to change behaviour or to build your confidence and executive presence for meetings, presentations or for difficult conversations, do contact us. We will help you build a powerful communications strategy and an engaging way of telling the story for the occasion as well as working with you on your vocal energy and physical presence.

Pimp Up That Presentation Fast

There are some super-fast ways to take a presentation from bland (no one’s listening!) to brilliant (people engaged, influenced, believing, wanting to act).

How often have you been given a presentation written by and for someone else, with little time to change it? You know it’s dull but now it’s your reputation on the line as you’re delivering it, so you need to make changes fast.

Kineticfuture can coach you on simple effective ways to create and deliver a great presentation and build your executive presence – so find out about our group coaching courses. For now, here are some fast track tips you can use today for presentations, group meetings or Skype meetings. Even using just one tip will make a real difference.

I’d love to hear your own ways of tackling this last-minute challenge.

6 WAYS TO PIMP UP THAT PRESENTATION FAST

  1. Go back to basics quickly – who is the audience, has it changed, what’s your goal, what’s their goal and concerns, why are they there, what do they want from you? (You’d be amazed how often the brief changes or the initial brief was totally wrong. This stops you having a complete audience disconnect!)
  2. Take the water cooler test – what’s your one key message (one short sentence) and check it’s valuable for you and the audience. Make it surprising, something new, something important, a point of view, something that gets to the heart of the challenge or the solution. This is not a summary of the situation! (This key message is the hardest part but force yourself to commit and do not ‘go vanilla’ unless that’s your whole comms strategy).
  3. Add in a short story – it needs to be something that illustrates the challenge, the opportunity or results. Stories can be personal, need to be surprising, trigger emotions and illustrate the key message. Humour works but choose carefully. If you can include more than one story, please do.
  4. Turn the structure on its head – start with a story to illustrate the challenge or opportunity (slide 2- immediately after you say hello). Communicate the key message and what you want the audience to do (slide 3). Then go into the agenda which enables you to illustrate the key message (if the decision-maker has to dash off, this up-front approach can be a lifesaver).
  5. Build in audience interaction – this is a conversation remember, you’re not talking at people, so you’d naturally ask rhetorical questions, or get the audience to participate in any way you can. They will remember you and how you made them feel much more than the content.
  6. Improve the visuals – if you are not bound by legal approvals, you can add in simple slides with strong visuals that illustrate the point. You can also drop or move slides around. The idea is to make the presentation your own. And if worst comes to the worst, you can stand in the way of really ghastly slides and just talk to the audience or dump the slides entirely.

KineticFuture can coach you to be a world-class leader and communicator. Coaching 1-2-1 and in groups. Clients include Abbvie, Amgen, Gilead, GSK, Novartis, Mars, Pladis, WPP and Barclays. We have six main areas of work: Time to think coachingexecutive presencepresenting and storytellingtricky conversationsresilience and communicating purpose.

Contact us today to book a course or to find out more.

When You’re Bland You Blend

You may have all the relevant skills and experience but unless you can communicate in a compelling way you won’t get far. ‘When you’re bland you blend’ is one of the phrases from this week’s book club recommendation by Paul McGee, keynote speaker and performance coach – How to Speak so People Really Listen.

This book is informal and accessible, full of useful tips and written in a warm, amusing way. We really like it and think you will too.

Of course, if you’d rather learn these skills on our group or 1-2-1 courses do get in touch. We will help you stand out from the crowd.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

We Can All Talk. The Challenge? 
Getting People To Listen.

Reviews on the back cover :

′This book is down–to–earth, gritty and oozes experience. I′ve been speaking for over twenty years trust me, I′ve learnt from this book. Paul McGee is clearly a skilled helper.′
Kriss Akabusi MBE

′I have nearly a hundred books on public speaking and this is a refreshingly different take on all of them. You′ll read it in hours but the messages will stay with you for years. It′s clever, insightful and packed with takeaway tips.′
Jeremy Nicholas, Writer and Broadcaster

Buy Paul’s book on Amazon.

KineticFuture can coach you to be a world-class communicator and leader. Coaching 1-2-1 and in groups. Clients include Abbvie, Amgen, Gilead, GSK, Novartis, Mars, Pladis, WPP and Barclays. We have six main areas of work: Time to think coachingexecutive presencepresenting and storytellingtricky conversationsresilience and communicating purpose.

Contact us today to book a course or to find out more.

The Six Habits of Executive Presence

A wise colleague of mine described Executive Presence as:

“The water leaders swim in to get things done. It’s not optional. It’s essential for respect and trust”.

KineticFuture are experts in coaching the ‘how’ of EP one to one and in groups. Today I’m going to share with you The 6 Practical Habits of EP. This is a distillation of the KF coaching method for your presentation communication.

6 Habits of Executive Presence in Presentation Communication

  1. It’s all about the audience – flex to their needs and perspective you’re already halfway there.
  2. Integrity & expertise – how are you going to demonstrate this?
  3. Authentic passion & belief – your topic may not set your pulse racing but you’ll have to find something that motivates you
  4. Warm authority under fire – there is a pivot point between warmth and authority. You’re looking to find the right blend for the situation and culture.
  5. Listens to understand – the audience needs to feel this is a two-way conversation and you have to truly understand what they are thinking.
  6. Tailored value messages and strong storytelling – underpinning your confidence is knowing the value you bring to the other person and being able to articulate it. Strong storytelling will build engagement and memorability.

On our courses we’ll work with you on your physicality (vocal energy, body language etc.) blended with communications strategy plus you’ll develop your story ready to present. All focused on a real work situation. Your colleagues will also coach you and you’ll learn to self-coach too.

We have worked for 19 years with demanding companies including Abbvie, The ABI, Barclays, GSK, The Open University, Novartis, Mars, MSD, Reckitt Benckiser and Vertex.

Do call or email me if you’d like to know more. Everyone can develop their Executive Presence with dedication and good coaching. And the rewards are great for you and your teams.

Deliver a Jaw Dropping Moment

Everyone remembers where they were and what they were doing when the tragic news of 9/11 broke but we often can’t remember what we did yesterday.

Why?

Because our brains are wired to recall emotionally dramatic events (positive as well as negative) and ignore the mundane and ordinary.

In a similar way, presentations that include an emotionally charged event create a heightened state of emotion in the audience that makes them much more memorable and enjoyable. This can be done by telling a story, using props and images, or sharing some unexpected statistics.

Some of our favourite examples of presentations that include extreme jaw dropping moments include:

  • Bill Gates – when he released a jar of mosquitos into an audience in his Ted talk on some of the world’s biggest problems.
  • Dr Jill Bolte Taylor – when she brought out a real human brain in her talk about her personal experience of having a stroke.
  • Hugh Herr – his Ted talk on the development of bionics that ‘let us run, climb and dance’ (watch it below). In particular, the moment at the end of his talk when Adrianne Haslet-Davis, a victim of the 2013 Boston marathon bombing comes on stage for her first dance since the attack.

The audience response to the speaker’s dramatic action speaks for itself. They look interested, enthralled, alive… and some of their jaws are actually dropping open!

Try and apply this to your own presentations. You may be presenting on something your audience have seen many times and the topic may not be nearly as emotional as these talks but wouldn’t it be good to make the effort to surprise them? They’re more likely to remember what you’ve said if you do!

If you would like to know how to use positive psychology and neuroscience within your own presentation we can show you how – contact us today.