When Trolling for Business, Don’t Wing It
Remember that one of the ways you can link back to that unifying theme is to make the transitions powerful. When you transition from one thought to the next, do it in such a manner that it sets the stage for the next point you’re making or position that you’re taking. It should be a mini-summary of the preceding point and it should provide the intellectual bridge to your next point and to the unifying theme.
Always try to be (to use a buzz phrase from the e-marketing industry) “contextually relevant.” Seek to present within the context of the listeners. Think about that great line in “To Kill a Mockingbird,” where Atticus Finch and Scout are speaking and she asks Atticus why do people behave with such great hate and bigotry. Atticus replies, “You know Scout, you never really know a person, until you walk around in their shoes.” You must always remember to walk a mile in your listener’s shoes. Determine the issues that matter to him and why he should care about what you’re saying.
Nearly all average presentations answer the “what” questions; excellent presentations always answer the “so what.” You must close the logic loop. You should take your listeners on a dialectic journey that posits: if facts 1, 2 and 3 are true, then A, B and C must also be true. Some also call this the “if-then” proposition. The logic loop allows your listeners to draw their own conclusions with your guidance. This technique encourages listener involvement by intellectually engaging them and leading them to accept your conclusion. Listen to great speakers; it’s a technique that’s often used.
During your presentation, you should be informed but don’t be presumptuous. Don’t take it upon yourself to define what your listeners ought to know. Allow them the flexibility to interpret. Guide them, help them, but give them flexibility and always watch out for assumptions. Assume sometimes if you must, but always try to verify when it’s possible to do so.