Saturday, October 30, 2010

Are You (Unwittingly) Wearing Red or Blue During Your Presentations? Start Wearing Purple.

All apologies to Gogol Bordello. But listen to this song as you read this post. Or instead of reading this post which might be more entertaining.

Many businesses (if not all) are subject to governmental regulations and law changes.

Because of this, there are many experts who cover – either directly or tangentially – updates and pending law changes during their speeches and presentations. When they do, with a word, eye roll, or even tone of voice, they can quickly disengage half their audience.

Did you just use the term, "Obamacare?" Bad idea! Half the audience now believes you are the local leader of the Tea Party. They stopped thinking of you as an expert at anything. Now they see you in a bright red jacket with a gun in one hand and misspelled rally poster in the other.

Did you sigh when an audience member used the phrase "liberal agenda" in his question? Oops! Half the people in attendance have just decided you are anti-business. They now see you in a blue jacket (with leather elbow patches) handing all their hard-earned money to a welfare cheat.

It's a fact that Congress' decision on extending Bush's tax cuts is a critical business issue right now. But if you can't say "Bush" without verbally painting yourself red or blue, you need to call the tax cuts by another name.

|> Unsure if your words, looks or tone are betraying you and disengaging half your audience? Ask someone who sits on the far side of the aisle from you to attend your practice session. <|

You don't practice your presentations beforehand? Let me know when you are speaking next, so I can avoid it.

You don't know anyone who has stupid politics (i.e. disagrees with you politically)? You need to widen your circle and, again, let me know when you are speaking next, so I can avoid it.

In short words: If you are a true expert, you can keep your personal politics out of your presentations.

In shorter words: Start wearing purple.

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