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The prep step most people miss

Updated: Aug 16, 2023

Most people stop too soon

People focus the majority of their energy on

what they want to say. If you've been following me for a while you'll have know that it's also critical to think about how you want to make people feel. (See graphic.)

But what even people who remember this 2nd part then still usually fail to do is test whether what they are doing is actually working.

It's not enough to work on what you want to say and how you hope people will feel,

you have to test it. Watch the video to understand this difference.

A quick Story

When I first started doing long form workshops (60-90 minutes), I got lots of positive feedback. People would tell me the material was great and super helpful. But I wanted to know more, so I asked them what they were going to do differently, and they hesitated. They weren't sure.

I then asked them how they felt, and they repeated: "you were great"..."the workshop was awesome" but that's not actually an answer to the question. So I pushed further.

And what I started to discover was that they felt a bit overwhelmed. They were exhausted by the number of ideas and not at all clear about what do next. That's when I knew I had a problem.

I solved it (a post for another day) and now people say things like “You transformed my approach toward presentations. Before it was a nightmare, now it has become a fun way to mobilize knowledge.”

How can you do this?

It's simple: ask better questions.

After you deliver a practice version of your presentation to a friend or colleague, ask them:

What would you tell someone who isn't here?

What do you want to do now?

What did I say?

The answers to these questions is the answer you need to understand what your audience understood, what they remembered, ad how you made them feel? Equipped with this information, you can now edit your presentation and the try again with another trial audience. Only once you are happy with the answer to these questions is your prep work done.

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