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Presenting "IN STYLE"
By Anne Miller   Printer Friendly Version

Ever wonder why you sometimes have trouble getting your ideas across to certain people? Don't you secretly think that they may not be very bright? The more likely answer has nothing to do with their intelligence, but everything to do with the likelihood that you are failing to communicate to these listeners in their "style."

All of us have four ways of perceiving the world and receiving information. However, we tend to prefer one or two of the four ways. So, if you are presenting to me in your preferred style but it is my least preferred style, then there's a good chance your presentation will fail.

Here is a snapshot of each style. As you read through them, think of people you know who have these style strengths. Think of how they behave, what they like, what their tempo is and how different they are from each other. This will help you lock each style in your mind. Styles are value neutral. They are like the color of your eyes, neither good or bad. They just are.

Style #1: The Dreamer
These people like to see how what you are presenting fits in with the big picture, with the long term. They like synergies, challenges and they like to be a part of transforming, revolutionizing the status quo. Think CEO's, marketing people, creative entertainers like Madonna, visionaries like Ted Turner.

When you present to them, use their language: Long term..innovative... synergy.. integrated...context...provocative.. Present your boldest, most creative ideas in the most creative way possible. Paint a picture for them that is big, exciting and new.

Presentation killer: Boring them to death with too many numbers, details and long explanations.

Style #2: The Friend
These people value feelings and relationships. They need to feel that what you are presenting is helpful, easy to implement and safe. They decide by concensus, so you would be smart to present your ideas to them and the other decision makers in a group setting. Think of Oprah's television personality.

When you present, use language that appeals to them: Feel...positive...loyalty... relationship...no problem...trust...together as a team, group, family... consensus.. proven easy, fail-safe, low risk, helpful to others, upbeat, fun, positive. Tell success stories.

Presentation Killer: Pressuring them for a decision right then.

Style #3: The Computer
These people value information, logic, order. They need to feel that whatever you are presenting makes sense, has all loose ends tied together, is rational, objective and organized. Think Sargent Joe Friday from the old television show, Dragnet. "Just the facts, ma'm."

When you present, the language that appeals to them includes Control..systematic.. monitor...check...solid, research based...evidence shows...proven..track-record..air-tight...factored in...components... Always bring more information than you think you'll need. Have charts and graphs and sources clearly marked on visuals. Pace yourself to their tempo, which is frequently slower than yours.

Presentation killer: Coming in unprepared.

Style #4: The Bullet
These people care about results. They care about getting things done in the shortest amount of time..solving problems..reaching goals...winning. This is your Type A personality. Think Donald Trump.

When you present, the language they like to hear is Bottom-line..Net-net.. The key point is...Can be done quickly.. Done deal... They like executive summaries and short presentations with brief bullet points. Keep your diagrams and charts simple.

Presentation killer: Wasting their time.

Suppose you are selling a Conference Center to a corporate meeting planner for an annual three day sales meeting of 500 people. One fact in the presentation is that the Center has movable walls to create any size meeting room. You might say:

1. To The Big Picture person

Imagine the possibilities here. We can divide the rooms any way you like from small groups of ten to one enormous room of five hundred.

2. To The Friend

It is so easy to accommodate your group. With a simple flip of the switch, we can move the walls any way you want quickly and easily. You can have small rooms of ten for lots of personal interaction or a large room for all five hundred where everyone can mix and meet each other and strengthen relationships in a comfortable social setting.

3. To The Computer

We'll sit down with you and design the precise room lay-outs you'll require over the three days. We can set up rooms of ten to maximize the time people spend with each other in a session. You can also have one room for all five hundred people, set up specifically to your dining and meeting plans.

4. To The Bullet

Tell us how many people, in how many groups and at what times of the day and we get it done. Bottom-line, you get a turn-key operation at this Center.

Since people are a mix of styles, just combine your comments to fit what you determine is your buyer's combination of preferred styles. With a little observation and practice, you'll be "styled for presenation success" every time!

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