"Communicating to Influence" by Ben Decker and Kelly Decker

This is a very good overview of how to be a more impactful presenter. The advice provided is appropriate for standard business meetings and formal stand up speeches. The authors give some practical tools to help you organize and prepare properly.

Key points:

1) Common mistakes when communicating

a. Focusing too much on content……….. People want to be moved. Don’t overanalyze things.

b. Lack of authenticity………. You need to be honest and genuine. We can all see through the fakers.

c. Failure to prepare is doomed to failure.

d. Lack of self awareness………Film/record yourself. OMG, what you will learn.

e. Adhere to the status quo…………. Yes, you can change….

2) Communications style roadmap. This is interesting. Which type do you use?

a. Informing

b. Directing

c. Entertaining

d. Inspiring

Look at where you fall and perhaps lean in to one of the others.

3) Non verbal communication is key. Visual displays of warmth, confidence and trust will foster communications.

a. Use your eyes. Eye contact is critical

b. Ready position. Balanced. Shoulders over knees over toes.

c. Enthusiasm. Use your hands.

d. Smile. (I know I suffer from RBF. It’s not good.)

4. Pause. …… again.

5. Effectively use materials to support your argument.

SHARP Stories / Humor / Analysis / References / Pictures.

6. Audience analysis.. Whats in it for them? What do they know? Want? Expect?

7. Decker grid.

Here they provide a format for preparation. It is a 4 column/5 row box that asks you to fill in your POV, SHARP/ACTIONS/BENEFITS. It is an interesting tool, though I doubt many will use it. Go to www.decker.com to download it. All in all, worth a quick read.

Please feel free to comment on any of these recommendations and suggest other sources that might be helpful.

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