Making Presentations That Make a Difference
Bill Reedy of Seville, Ohio makes long presentations on insurance content for online learners and in-person conferences. “I’m speaking for eight hours,” says Bill, “and I’m feeding them with a firehose of information.”
minutes of each hour is mandated and pre-scripted by the state’s
departments of insurance. There is a test at the end and an
accreditation on the line.
For years, Bill began his presentations in the way most of us do: with an outline. Now, thanks to Catherine Mattiske and her “Unlock Inner Genius” book and e-suite, Bill begins his presentations in an entirely different way: by hooking his audience based on their learning preferences. “One of the things I’ve built into my introductory comments is some language that would appeal to the different learning styles that Catherine has identified,” says Bill.
Falling in Love With — and Mapping Out — How People Learn
Mattiske is a globally-recognized training expert and the founder of
TPC — The Performance Company. Long ago, Catherine fell in love with how
people learn, and sought to create a system by which presenters could
unlock their audience’s attention. Today, Catherine’s “Unlock Inner
Genius” book and e-suite are the culmination of 30 years of training
experience, and together they serve as a powerful tool for trainers,
presenters, coaches, and team leaders to tap into their audience’s
In “Unlock Inner Genius,” Catherine introduces 12 Archetypes that neatly map out 12 types of learning profiles. Catherine then provides tips on how to identify and tap into each Archetype in order to maximize that person’s learning, listening, and attention. For example, “The Narrator” Archetype prefers to learn auditorily and seeks to connect to the big picture in order to process and synthesize the information they receive. Therefore one might auditorily engage this profile with the reasons they are learning, instead of featuring visual media (flow charts, diagrams, etc.) primarily focusing on facts, figures, and data, which “The Narrator” might not be particularly interested in.
Balancing Our Communication
One of the key ingredients that make up each Archetype is one of four “Processing Power” profiles, which is how that Archetype processes the information they take in: Do they want to Connect to the big picture? Do they want data and Detail? Do they want hands-on practice in order to Construct solutions? Or do they want to experiment, brainstorm, and Invent possibilities? The more you steer content towards all four Processing Power profiles, the more balanced your communication is, and the more audience members you’ll hook.
This is exactly what Bill Reedy has done with the introductions of his presentations.“I have to deliver the content that is scripted, but I can also hook people and make them interested by telling them up front, ‘Hey, there’s something for everybody in this class. Here’s the detail. Here’s what you can do with it. Here’s the context. Here’s the big picture.’ You know, the whole gamut.“
"In my role as an insurance instructor, a lot of times I’m either delivering insurance content over the internet via webinar, or I’m up live in front of either small groups or a lot of people… where I can’t send profiles out and diagnose what people’s learning style is. So part of Catherine’s program is balanced communication — when you don’t know what your audience’s learning preference is — which is brilliant because you don’t know who they are, you don’t know where they’re coming from, you don’t know their preference. So why not have a balanced introduction to your program, which will in effect, hook people and get them interested in what you have to say?”