12 fallacies about presentations (part 2)

Fallacy 7.     The presenter must do whatever the audience requires of him / her!
Wrong!: Power is given, control is taken. The presenter’s role is to control the audience, the flow of the presentation, the time used, and to ensure that the message arrives in the most appropriate manner. If the presenter is controlled by the audience, the presentation will be a failure. A very common example is when the presenter answers questions during the presentation which, frequently, results in a dialogue between the questioner & the presenter which the other attendees find boring / irrelevant and provokes a total disconnection from the presentation.

Fallacy 8.     The best structure is: “Tell them what you are going to tell them; tell them; tell them what you have told them”.
Wrong!:    A presentation should have a clear structure that the audience know from the beginning. The old concept indicated above  is no longer a valid structure. Communication, like business is based on a logical, coherent structure.

Fallacy 9.     The audience need to know everything about the topic being presented.
Wrong!:     A sales presentation is to solve the customer’s problems, not “sell” the company. The traditional, boring, “Our company was founded in 1900…” followed by totally irrelevant details does NOT solve the client’s problems – it just bores them!

Fallacy 10.     It is more important for the presenter to feel comfortable than to do what is necessary for the message to arrive as they intend!
Wrong!:     Many presenters have habits formed that they do not want to change. An example of this is the desire to be continually moving during their presentations. The problem is that the Non-verbal communication subconsciously tells the audience when the presenter is unsure, afraid of attack, “aggressive, etc., which affects how the audience accept the message; any change is difficult, however, when it has been performed three or more times, it becomes a new habit. The objective of any presentation should be that the message arrives as intended, NOT the presenter should feel comfortable.

Fallacy 11.    Bosses can interrupt presentations whenever the want to.
Wrong:  Interrupting a subordinate’s presentation is the best way to totally destroy their motivation and self esteem. What should the presenter do during the interruption: sit down, keep standing, twiddle their thumbs?  When the boss interrupts the presenter he is implicitly showing that the presenter does not know what they are talking about and has to be corrected. This is taken by the audience as showing that the presenter is NOT professional! A leader should deliver his intervention when the presenter has FINISHED the presentation. This is much more educated, motivational and shows less distain for the presenter.

Fallacy 12.     We have always done presentations this way and there is no need to change!
Wrong!:     Many people fear doing something new: especially when their bosses have little or no idea about effective communication and insist that “Their employees” do things their way … the old-fashioned way! Presenters need to move into the present, prepare for a successful future by forgetting the techniques  from the last century. A presupposition of NLP is: “If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always gotten!”

So, now is the time to move into the 21st century!

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© Brownlee & Associates, Madrid, Spain, 2011. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied, translated or reproduced in any form without the prior written consent of Brownlee & Associates.


About ianbrownlee

Ian Brownlee, the founder of Brownlee & Associates has been actively involved in the field of interpersonal & transcultural communication since 1977. He has worked in universities and companies in the following countries: Laos, Thailand, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, France, Italy, England, The United States of America & Spain, as a teacher, university lecturer, trainer, researcher & consultant. In addition, his experience in living in these countries, and studying the language & communication and interaction styles of each has aided him in reaching a real understanding of intercultural and transcultural differences and how to resolve them. Ian Brownlee has various masters degrees from British Universities: One in Linguistics & Teaching English Overseas from Manchester University, one in Training & Development with a specialization in the area of Communication and Adult learning awarded by the University of Sheffield. He has also gained professional qualifications in Psychotherapy & Hypnotherapy from various professional organizations. During his university career he has also studied elements of Sociology, Organizational psychology, Educational psychology, Psycholinguistics and Kinesics. He is a licensed Practitioner, Master Practitioner, and Master Trainer in NLP. as well as being a trainer in Ericksonian Hypnosis. He is a member of a wide range of professional organizations involved in Training, Applied Psychology, Hypnotherapy & Ericksonian Hypnosis, Psychotherapy, Interpersonal Communication & Cross-cultural Communication. He is also recognized by the Program on Negotiation, Harvard University, as a Negotiation Skills Trainer & Mediator and has been a collaborator on various projects with the program, and as such is in great demand as a negotiation consultant for some of the largest multinationals operating worldwide. His wide experience gained in multinational organizations in positions such as Director of Training, Communications Consultant and Negotiator / Mediator has helped many people to learn and apply new methods of negotiating skills and advanced communication techniques both in their private and professional lives. He has published various articles & books related to the field of interpersonal communication and he is the author of all the courses taught by Brownlee & Associates. He has lived and worked in Spain since 1985, initially as a trainer / Special Assistant in a multinational pharmaceutical company and then as the Training Manager for a multinational company involved in Clinical Analysis & Nuclear Medicine. Brownlee & Associates was formed in 1991 and currently has a small, highly-trained staff. While based in Madrid, courses are given world-wide either in English or Spanish. Brownlee & Associates currently work with leading international companies in the areas of pharmaceuticals , Information systems, luxury products, food & beverages, etc.
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