Silver Threads Part 2: What’s trending in how we present and persuade.
Part 2 of my Silver Anniversary Series: How presentation coaching has evolved over the past 25 years.
First, thanks to the untold thousands of congrats for my Silver Anniversary as a coach. (I use the word untold to include those who have not actually responded -- but I know you’re out there.)
In Part 1, we focused on how presentation ability has moved from a “nice to have” to an essential core competence. Today, this skill is appreciated as a vital competitive advantage. And companies invest enterprise-wide to help associates get better at delivering the message – both internally and in the marketplace.
Now, for Part 2: what’s trending in the presentation and persuasion fields.
1. Interactivity and audience engagement.
- 25 years ago, presentations were mostly one-way communications. The speaker would talk. The audience would listen. There may be a Q&A at the end.
- Today, we teach: If you’re the only one talking, you’re the only one learning. Presenters now work hard to engage audiences via build-in exercises, role play, break-outs, audience polling, and transitional Q&A.
-- This requires presenters to invest more in preparation and practice, but greatly enhances audience retention of content.
2. The Virtual Environment.
-- 25 years ago, remote presentations were considered a less-effective alternative – to be used only when a live encounter was logistically impractical.
-- Today, spurred by Covid, virtual has become the preferred choice for meetings and communications.
-- The ability to present virtually is now viewed as a core competence.
3. The impact of technology on preparation.
- 25 years ago, presenters routinely backed-up their presentation decks for fear of losing them.
- These backups were stored on desktops, jump drives, a colleague’s computer, and even on paper. There was a moment where you “locked down” and risked NO further changes.
- Today, technology is so familiar and reliable that the fear of losing a presentation has disappeared. Visuals are now fluid until the moment the presenter begins speaking.
That presents a challenge – it's difficult to prepare when your content is constantly changing.
4. The impact of technology on presentation.
-- 25 years ago, presenters were hesitant to “complicate” their presentations with media. They mostly created still frames that were text heavy.
-- Today, presenters confidently utilize imagery, animation, video, and live cut-ins from remote sites (e.g. a live surgical procedure from a hospital).
-- Orchestrating all this is a challenge for presenters. But results show that audiences engage more and retain more.
Today, we coaches offer training that focuses specifically on the differences between communicating live and communicating remotely. While your content may not change at all, the way you deliver it MUST change substantially.
COVID has forced sweeping changes in how companies interact – internally and in the marketplace. Much of this change will become PERMANENT. Become excellent at virtual communications – and you will dramatically increase your value to your organization.
Next, in Part 3 of this series, we’ll discuss the evolution of My Top Keys to Becoming a Powerful Presenter. Stay tuned.
Also, please feel free to continue showering me with accolades and good wishes in my Silver Anniversary Year of coaching. Or better yet, let’s do some work together. Email email@example.com.