In order to reach and convince others, it is very important to consider how the brain works. I recently listened to a presentation by Oren Klaff who researched the topic to write his book “Pitch Anything”.
The basic premise is simple: If you can’t, first and foremost, get the attention of those present, you will not succeed in convincing anyone, even if your presentation is very well prepared, detailed and relevant.
You must therefore begin by stating clearly why we should pay attention.
To achieve this successfully, you should know that the brain decides what is important on the following basis:
- If it is not dangerous, ignore it! (What happens if we do not listen to your message? What will we be missing?)
- If this is not new and exciting, ignore it! (We love high contrasts – good / bad, black / white …)
- If it’s new, the brain summarizes it quickly and forgets the details (Do not waste your time by presenting details!)
Remember in class when the teacher said: “Pay attention to this, there will be a question about it in the exam.” Although it might not have been new and exciting, the danger was clear and the professor got our undivided attention.
Oren Klaff also remind us that we are conditioned to love listening to stories and that to be a great speaker, we should master the art of telling compelling ones. All information and/or statistics should be sent prior to the meeting. Don’t waste people’s time!
If you take into consideration the brain mechanic, how should you tweak your next presentation?