If you hate presentations, you’ll love this…

The hog and the boy

Have you been handed an awkward burden?

You’ve been handed a burden, which seems to have already decided where it wants to go: yes, someone’s dumped a presentation on you, and if you’re really unlucky, they’re filled with the words and slides of another.

Your stomach feels like a cement mixer as you’re launched into the pit of anxiety that threatens to swallow you up.

Actually, a certain amount of nervous energy can sharpen the senses but you want to control them, not have them control you.

So here are 7 ways to make nervous energy work for you and make presenting – dare I say it – enjoyable.

Numbers 2 and 7 can be particularly useful in life, not just presentations: not that presentations are part of something other than life.  You’re not sailing on the Styx: just speaking to a bunch of people, for heaven’s sake.  You can do it.

Read on if you want to save your heart rate for the gym.

Someone else contolling your presentation?

Someone else contolling your presentation?

  1. Don’t be someone else’s glove puppet – got someone else’s 76 tedious slides to deliver? Define the key message, make sure you make maximum 9 points to support it, then chuck, change or skip the slides you don’t need. Your job is to communicate a message, not be a mouthpiece for someone for a bad messenger.
  2. Reframe – when asked to do a presentation, many consider this a huge bane. After all, it’s not the core part of their role, unless they’re a professional presenter. So tell yourself: ‘I do not do presentations. I do dialogues, with one person speaking most of the time.’ We all know how normal that kind of conversation is.
  3. Breathe – when you’re nervous, your breathing may tend to go up to your chest, this ‘upper thoracic’ pattern generates more adrenalin, which can make you short of breath and increase anxiety further. By breathing from the stomach, or ribs around the centre of the torso, you’ll achieve greater calm.
  4. Dump the script – trying to remember a script can not only makes your presentation a stressful experience but can also make you look and sound rather wooden. You need some spontaneity in there so using a mind map, showing your points and how they relate to your main message, would give you a clear pathway through your content
  5. Not a herd of heads, but humans – chatting with members of your audience beforehand means that you’ll already have a connection amongst those faces. As a result, that anonymous sea of faces disappears and is replaced by what it really is: a group of individuals who really want to listen to you. And I know this for a fact because it’s pretty questionable that anyone would want a speaker to be unengaging, unless they need to catch up on their sleep.
  6. Don’t introduce yourself – you may not have to do this anyway, if someone is introducing you, but in the spirit of a normal conversation, it’s uncommon for a stranger to approach you with ‘Hi, my name is Jo Bloggs and I’m the R&D Director for Sky-high Ltd.’ You’d forget the name anyway because there’s too much processing going on in our minds when we first meet people. Have you ever gone out and started talking to someone, then half an hour later it dawns on one of you to ask the other’s name? What you did was engage, just like in a natural conversation. To do this in a presentation, you can use the Spice Rack, techniques of engagement. These include a picture, prop, anecdote or quote. Then, and only then, introducing yourself would be timely.
  7. Transfer an experience – when speaking in public, you may need to tap into a sense of confidence. Sometimes, it might be something like a feeling of freedom or control. Once that the emotional quality has been pinpointed, recall a time when you felt this. By summoning up the atmosphere and senses around this experience, you can then use a physical trigger to immediately invoke that sensation.





Are you guilty of these 3 common team pitch mistakes?

A pitching team you'd buy from?

A pitching team you’d buy from?

Some team pitches look like they’re been fronted by The Three Stooges.  Each one does a fine job of messing up for the others.

If you have to pitch with at least one other person,  it’s vital you look like a team and not a bunch of individuals from different departments,  blindly patching it all together.

Actually, that isn’t fair.  Sometimes teams get to patch it together on the 30 minute taxi ride to the client.

So here we go with top 3 oversights in a team pitch:


1. Guessing games for the customer

One person often ‘does an intro’,  then you get other members of a pitching team standing there like skittles.

During a monologue about how John Mcdougall was inspired to start up Dynamic Dynamos from staring at a bevelled paperweight in 1952,  the client is pondering who that bloke is with the red brogues.  While the audience is wondering who does what too much of their attention is left behind.

The team needs tie that curiosity up at the top,  by saying right upfront:

i)  who does what;
ii) how they help with the end product / service


2. Not referring back to others

Brynne from Business Development talks about her department.  Jake then  discusses IT.   Neither of them reference how they interact with each other.  So is there a commercial view of the technology?   Who knows.   Let us try and play ‘fill the gap’  with the content.  No,  let us not,  because it’s too much effort.

To look as if you’re cohesive,  picking up on what someone else in your team has said gives the impression to the potential client that not one but several of you have got their back. You’re a project that a collective has deemed worthy of their attention.

It takes just a few touches to give the client that warm glow of a customised solution but this is one often overlooked.


3. Not knowing what the members of your team are going to say

Naturally,  this ends badly.   No one needs curve balls from their own team mates.   Here are the 3 manifestations of these nasties:

i) Omission
you thought someone else was covering that point. Since that point may deal with the customer’s doubts about scalability,  that’s going to be lingering in the air and it needs to be dealt with sooner or later.

ii) Duplication
Probably the least awful as repetition can be used to emphasise a point.

iii) Contradiction
The worst.   Contradicting team mates in front of potential customers is a form of psychological pugilism.   This is not good for harmonious relationships back in the office although it is excellent for perpetuating distrust from the client and between the team.   If that’s what you want,  way to go.

If you care not for this kind of disharmony,  a mind map or list of content for everyone to cover, could save some shame.

Not only can you validate each others’ content but you’ll also be able to cross sell services and increase the likelihood of a buy.


So what specific problems can you add to team pitches?
Sharing is caring so please let us know.
Of course,  sharing may just be offloading and that can feel good too.  So go ahead and vent / share…

How to avoid a damp squib ending to your presentation

Sudden endings can ruin a presentation

Sudden endings can ruin a presentation

The end of a presentation can feel very much like falling off a cliff: you’ve got some solid content that you tread through,  then suddenly there’s nothing.   Often you’ll find yourself calling into the gap beyond with ‘Any questions?’

Although dealing with questions is a separate post,  one way to avoid this call into the abyss is to ask a question that reinforces your key point, such as:

“I’m often asked whether we need to change strategy at all if what we have is getting us by.   And that’s the point… We can more than ‘get by’:  diversifying  offers an exciting opportunity to grow,  learn and secure a more profitable future.  Who wouldn’t want that?”

The 3 point closure provides a neat conclusion, using a rhetorical question as the full stop.   Do ensure that the key message re-emphasises what’s in it for your audience.

Avoid self-aggrandising ‘questions’, as in the following example:

‘People ask me why I’m so brilliant.   It’s partly nature and a bit of nurture.   Thanks and goodbye’.

Looks like there’s a humility drought here in a desert of ego.   Where’s the reinforcement of audience benefit?

This is not dissimilar from a real example I recall from a motivational speaker:

“People ask me how they can be more like me…” I can’t remember the rest.  I think I was out the room by then.


A word about the 3 point closure:

The three point closure allows for a distinctive end to your presentation.   This avoids having it hanging incomplete in the ether, leaving your audience confused as to whether you’ve finished or not.

For example in Winston Churchill’s famous blood,  sweat and tears speech, what he actually said was “I can promise you Blood, Sweat, Toil and Tears”.   We lost the toil and actually only recall ‘blood,  sweat and tears’  for the same reason that we remember ‘A Mars a day helps you work,  rest and play’. (or ‘your teeth rot away’ although that calls upon rhythm and rhyme more as a mnemonic).


To sum up:

  1. Ask a question that reinforces the key benefit to the audience
  2. Use a rule of 3 within the answer
  3. You can also add devices like rhetorical questions or quotes to provide a clear ending.

So these 3 devices will give your words more weight….and who wouldn’t want that?!


3 reasons you blank and what to do about it



If blanking had a picture…

Blanking during a presentation is the mental equivalent of your clothes falling off in front of the audience.  It’s the moment you stop speaking, as does your ability to think.  I don’t mean, ‘think clearly’, but actually the ability to think at all.


This is sometimes accompanied by the disturbing sensation of floating out of your skin to watch your ‘other self’ helplessly freeze in front of the audience.




The reasons we blank

Here are the three most common reasons for this brain-jam:

  1. Awareness of being looked at:
    sudden awareness that we’re being watched by countless pairs of eyes,  judging performance and personality.
  2. Trying to remember a script:
    the total stress of trying to remember lines, when bullet points acting as ‘landmarks in the road’ would have done fine.  Unless you’re a politician or giving police reporting on the progress on a crime, ditch the script.  It’s a security blanket.
  3. Unnatural introductions:
    beginning a presentation with your name often feels like the equivalent of opening your coat to reveal a target: ‘you know who I am now, so you know who to hit’.

According to reviews in Scientific American, research has recently discovered that stress impacts on the pre-frontal cortex.  The pre-frontal cortex aids short-term memory, concentration on the task in hand and choosing appropriate actions.  It’s the command centre of the brain.

Under stress, the captain of the command centre can misread a situation as one of danger, triggering the hypothalamus, the primitive part of the brain.  The hypothalamus will, in response, release adrenalin causing a ‘fight or flight’ response.

This isn’t very useful if your audience want to understand how the new IT change programme is going to support the company strategy.


How to deal with ‘blanking’


I’ve read ‘Tell yourself you’re fab/the audience loves you/your presentation is amazing”, and other such nonsense.  Well, I’ve had stage fright and I can tell you this: you can’t tell yourself anything because that part of the brain is out for lunch, given up, shut down.  Dog gawn.


  1.  Gesture:
    Gesture to draw out words from your head – something will occur to you until you find the next point.
  2. Move your feet:
    Move from one position to another. If you move you’ll breathe, and this will clear the thought process, buy you time and make you look more confident.  As this action usually builds in a natural pause, it will add presence and control, even as your mind is flipping like a Roladex.
  3. Mentally shift:
    Do what you do when you lose your house keys: retrace your steps.  Recap what you said when the pre-frontal cortex was in control and it will lead you to pinpoint what to say next.  You can do this aloud: the audience will often help you! As it happens to everyone, it actually helps you to become more engaging.  (Please note, however, I’m not encouraging you to make a habit of this.  There are other ways to be engaging!).


Now, when you look at the reasons for blanking, such as scripting, there are many ways to avoid it in the first place.

Using theatre improvisation techniques is essential for confident presenting: very little will phase you as the command centre of the pre-frontal brain will always be in control, increasingly unphased by the unexpected.  It won’t go AWOL: you can avoid brain-jams and out of body experiences.

The habit of risk taking in this way, breeds a sense of calm and trust that won’t be read as a disaster situation but as an opportunity to make your point and let your personality shine through freely.



How to stop shaking when you present

Get shaky arms and legs when presenting? Here’s how to stop the quivering and feel freer.

10 Myths of Presentation and Public Speaking

  1. images[2]I’m better off winging it
    The problem with improvisation is that it’s terribly haphazard!  You’ll need some landmarks to stop you going off track.  A mind map can help to plan points without scripting.
  2. I need to write out my full speech before I speak
    Do you?  What a hassle!  A script can take longer to write than notes and is much more difficult to edit.  Even more importantly, we don’t speak as we write:  the language may be different and sentences are usually shorter
  3. …and then memorise it
    Hence the cause of crippling nerves and blanking out!  Make life easy on yourself: remember where you’re going and where you’ve been and you’ll find it easier to know where you are now without having to memorise anything
  4. Nerves are bad for Presentations and Pitches
    Actually, if you can control your nerves instead of letting them control you, the nerves become adrenalin.  In time, you’ll learn to enjoy the freedom of speaking in public (yes, I did say ‘enjoy’!).   Techniques to do this, include breathing, anchoring and visualisation.  More about this in future blogs.
  5. Make eye contact
    Merely looking up from your cue cards or taking a break from your PowerPoint is not making eye contact.  Getting a response from people by looking at them is.
  6. Begin with a joke
    Unless you are a comedian, try something a bit safer.  There are other, surer ways to make your audience comfortable and get a response, like those on the spice rack in this brochure.  Humour is often in integral part of a familiar situation but shouldn’t be treated as a technique of its own.
  7. You can’t change your voice
    Your voice is as unique as your fingerprint.  But you can change it by enlarging its scope in range, speaking on different pitches, making it resonant and using different rhythms, and clarifying your articulation.  It takes training and practice.
  8. Always introduce yourself at the beginning
    Think of how many times you’ve been out  and got talking to someone.  10 minutes later, you realise you don’t know each others’ names.  A presentation or pitch works the same way:  first grab attention, then say who you are.  It also makes you calmer as it reflects what we naturally do when chatting to people.
  9. ‘He’s a natural.’
    Just because a person has the ability to get up and talk before a group of people does not necessarily make this person an effective speaker.  If a speaker is effective, s/he has most likely prepared over a length of time, gathering creative, pertinent material that have personal importance.  Then s/he puts orders those thoughts clearly, using methods to engage an audience.
  10. Squeeze your buttocks
    OK, maybe this isn’t a common myth but I heard someone suggesting this during a radio interview. How I wish he’d been on television so that we could see him walking around like he had a bad case of haemorrhoids.  The rationale for buttock squeezing is that it stops women getting shaky legs when speaking and men should squeeze their thighs, for the same reason.  The speaker obviously wasn’t a performer otherwise he’d have used some more useful methods.

If you want to know how to stop shaking limbs, you’ll find the answer right here!

Why stories work

tell them your story

A story replaces information overload

“Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today,”

(Robert McAfee Brown)

There are two ways to share knowledge: either you can push information out or you can pull people in with a story.

Whether you need to sell a product or change behaviour, stories are vital to your success.  Here you’ll find 5 reasons why having an anecdote up your sleeve will immediately change how people perceive you.

1. Stories can simplify the complex through a metaphor.

For example, the tale of the pig farmer who realised that overnight his stock was worth half .  On the strength of the potential sale, he’d taken out loans for barn repairs and equipment.  The debts stayed the same but his income was halved, pushing him into further debt.
This story was used to explain the effect of the devaluation of oil in Russia.  A metaphor that those unfamiliar with macro economics would be able to digest.

2.  They make no claims so aren’t threatening.

So instead of saying, ‘If you don’t buy this anti-virus package for your computers, you’ll be in trouble’, you can tell the story of how using BungleBoo Anti Virus system allowed a virus into your computer like water though a sieve, destroying your client base, all your documents and forcing you to have to purchase a watertight new laptop.

3.  Want to change the way someone is doing something? 

Tell them about the time that you didn’t buy travel insurance, broke your legs in Albania and ended up paying an arm and another leg to get home .   Much better than dishing out the advice with ‘you should/shouldn’t’, which just tends to get up people’s noses.

4.  If you want to make a strong point, this becomes easier to internalize and remember by building a sense of anticipation.

When I give short seminars on cross cultural presentations, I tell half the story of Richard, who worked for a large US bank and was trying to tie up a deal in the United Arab Emirates. He had to fly to Abu Dhabi several times before he won the deal.  However, it wasn’t his PowerPoints that won the day but 3 small adjustments he made to how he communicated.  I start the story at the beginning of the presentation, and by the end, they’re dying to know what happened to him so that’s when I complete the tale.

If you make your audience want to know the outcome, they’re more likely to remember it.

Click here to see me telling the story.

5. Fires imagination and provides role models for action.

For those that need a bit of encouragement being resourceful when resources are limited, the story of Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop, could be encouraging.  The logo of the Body Shop is entirely down to the fact that when she opened her first shop in Brighton,  it was cheaper and easier to find a green colour to match the mould-riddled signage.  Purchasing new signage wasn’t in her budget.  That decision gave birth to the globally recognised Body Shop brand.

Such a story of resourcefulness can make you think  ‘Goodness, if she can do it, so can I.’

6. Potential customers can identify with an issue and are more likely to then want to buy from you

Instead of ‘selling’ a product or service you give a case study of a problem that existed before e.g. boring presentations or bullish managers.

People can relate to a commonly shared problem and will act on an issue to which they can relate.  If they empathise with it, you only need to say how you’d work with them because they have an instant picture of what you do and the challenges you can help them overcome.
By the way, the tales you tell reflect your experience, knowledge and what’s important to you, adding to your credibility.
And for those of you who say you’ve got no stories, I bet I could help you find one, even if it’s not your own…

Look on the courses page here or contact me and I’ll help you find your story.


So much for the melting pot…

touching headsYou go on holiday to the quaint country of Kapistan and expect the locals to be friendly and warm on this island.

In fact, many of the inhabitants live in mountain villages, cut off from main roads until 20 years ago, they’re cold, suspicious and unhelpful.

What you don’t know is that they warm up if:

a) you express your love of the antelope;

b) you know all 20 words for rock and

c) you nod a lot.

Although this is a fictional land, the spirit of the rules – if not these particular ones – is worth knowing in an increasingly complex world, where we’re expected to already know the etiquette by sniffing it in the air. That’s not very practical so here are a few tips to see you through the multi-cultural maze.


What it means to you is not the same for me

Andy was infuriated with his manager, Jacques, for pointing out unsatisfactory work in front of others at a meeting.

Deciding not to make his anger known to the group, Andy resolved to approach Jacques about his behaviour. However, Jacques was confused. He couldn’t see why Andy should be upset at being reprimanded so openly.

The fact that Jacques is French and Andy was American had much to do with the conflict of management style.

In France, managers are more concerned about professional jealousy and try to mitigate against that by reproaching in public and rewarding in private.

In the States, this is reversed.


‘Surely we show interest in the same way’

No, we don’t: coaching a Japanese Banker in Presentations revealed an interesting difference. We were discussing how to tackle difficult questions when he said that if his particular audience of Senior Managers in their late 50’s and 60s were to start asking him any questions, he would know that he’d already lost the game. However, this may not be the case with a younger audience.


Collectivism versus individualism:

The collectivism more common in Spain unsettled Ferdy, from Germany, when the Engineering company to which he was seconded had a team picnic at the beach. Not only were the team there, but the families: children, partners, fiancés: even a dog turned up with the crowd.


Directness versus indirectness:

The Indian clients I’ve worked with have thrown up several paradoxes that can cause problems in the West.

The Indians tend to be more direct in some circumstances than, say, in Britain, but the Brits are more pointed in other ways and this can very confusing unless someone decodes the behaviour.

For example, when presenting at senior level in India, there’s a huge expectation to embellish your talk with stories and side points .   In the U.K., it’s more like ‘We’ve only got 5 minutes left. Could you make it quick?’   New York will be 5 seconds on a quiet day.

However,  Indians can be more direct when making requests, and very much so when expressing an opinion. In order not to alienate a whole team, I’ve had to teach indirect requests and embedded commands. (To check out the Indirect Requests, go here…)


How does your body talk?

Since so much of how we communicate is non-verbal, are you aware whether your body language is telling people to ‘get lost’ or whether it’s saying ‘OK’?

I was watching a Japanese tour guide in a restaurant, as she was organising the orders of 25 Japanese tourists in Chihuahua, Northern Mexico, with the Mexican staff.

With tourists, she kept physical distance, even though she evidently knew them quite well. However, when conversing with the Mexican staff, she was physically closer and more tactile. When I say more tactile, she wasn’t launching herself in their arms, but there’d be a short touch on the forearm and longer direct eye contact.

There was conflict between Naaz, a male Indian client from Bangalore and a female British-born Indian woman, Sandra, who complained that Naaz dismissed her decisions.   Naaz, on the other hand, claimed she never seemed committed to her opinions.

What Sandra needed to realise was that in Indian culture, where gender imbalances are so distinct, it’s often the case that a women would need to come across with ‘more steel’ than in British culture. I’ve found that to be the case from Italy to the Middle East.

Much of this comes from three non-verbal cues:

1) direct and prolonged eye contact
2) depth of voice
3) physical commitment e.g. strong gestures rather than fidgeting

However, when you’ve put your foot out of sync with culture, you won’t always know. When people do make their dissatisfaction clear, they can’t always tell you explicitly what you’ve done to so offend.

It’s your choice whether you adapt to another culture, but finding someone who can help you through the cross-cultural maze will allow you to get your message across and keep relationships bubbling away at the same time.

How to be heard effortlessly

There are some people who can walk into a room and effortlessly be heard by everyone, without raising their voices.  This is called resonance and is due to a power in the voice that doesn’t rely on volume (shouting) to have impact.

Here are 7 tips to help you increase your own vocal power so you can command attention and be heard.


Tip One –  Watch your posture:

Since you need your lungs to breathe, they’ll be quite limited in how much they can expand if you’re standing like a figure ‘C’, all hunched up, quite natural if you’ve been slaving over a laptop before you present.

Stand up straight with your feet firmly planted on the ground, looking out at your audience. This will help to ensure your voice carries to the back row.


Tip Two –  Open your mouth:

Most people simply do not open their mouths enough.  This decreases vocal projection.  In workshops, people often feel it’s really unnatural to open their mouths more.  When I film individuals ‘exaggerating’ and they watch themselves back, not only do they realise they sound more interesting but they look more expressive: both discoveries more likely to maintain the habit of opening the jaw more.


Tip Three – Breathe from your centre:

Breathe from the abdomen and imagine a beam of light from there, channelling out of your torso, throat and mouth, ‘zapping your audience’! The breath doesn’t generate in the upper chest but lower down in the ‘engine room’ around the belly.  Your voice will drop and sound more resonant if you breathe from here.


Tip Four – Look at the audience, not your notes:

It’s amazing how many times I see people either looking towards their notes, or at the projector. If you look towards where you’re speaking, you’ll have a greater chance of being heard.


Tip Five – Visualise being in a stadium:

Simply imagining you’re speaking in a vast stadium can help you increase your volume.


Tip Six – Avoid ‘dribbling’:

Audiences often get tired of listening to speakers who ‘drop off’ at the end of the sentence. That is, the presenter loses volume.  There are several physiological and psychological reasons why this may happen but ultimately it makes hard work for the listener, especially as the vital parts of information can be at the end of a phrase.  Keep the vocal strength up to the end of the sentence.  To avoid trailing off, think of pressing on the final syllable of the final word of the sentence or phrase.


Tip Seven – Use pauses to refuel:

Pauses can seem like uncomfortably long silences to the speaker, but to the listener they’re absolutely vital as a means to absorb and assimilate information.  Without pauses, the speaker has no time to reach into their abdomen to breathe.

The best way to get used to pauses is to record yourself reading for a minute or so.  We do this very consciously in workshops by pausing for a count of ‘one elephant’ at the following punctuation:  ,/:/;/-   and ‘two elephants’ (that means counting aloud ‘one elephant, two elephants’) for the ends of sentences.  Once everyone’s recorded reading something into their phones a couple of times, they develop a feel for pauses so that the counting becomes intuitive rather than conscious, thereby allowing them to feel calmer, breathe deeper and project more.

‘It is what it is’ and other meaningless palliatives

Forgotten how good it can be?

Forgotten how good it can be?

Years ago I saw the film, Baraka.  It’s a visual treat, showing some truly beautiful aspects of nature and culture alongside the ability of ‘civilisation’ to destroy what is precious.

I remember one scene in the film showing a native tribe in Brazil, rowing along the Amazon. Next shot, native tribes boxed in tatty blocks of dark flats, squeezed against each other, perching precariously on a deforested mound.

Yet those families, who had been running free not so long ago, looked quite content in their cramped homes. It’s a testament to the enduring human spirit or rather, how we can get quite used to a crappy situation.

What we are often seeing is not the victories of the human spirit but the amnesia of the human mind.

We forget how great we can be, how rewarding our jobs can be, or, our lives, affecting the possibility of businesses and individuals to more than just ‘manage’.



1. Hit ’em in the gut

Persuading people to change means showing reminding them of two factors:

1) Exactly how crappy things are now;
2) Exactly how great it could be for them.

When presenting and persuading, you need a balance of the analytical – facts, data, evidence – and the emotion.

The reason for this is that although the numbers will convince, we’re ultimately stirred into action by emotion, a concept that Chip and Dan Heath wrote about in their book, ‘Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard’. They picked on a Deloittes survey that analysed the decision making process of 400 people in 130 companies across four continents and proved that when you hit people in the gut, those feelings will be more likely to generate action.


2. Make it tangible:

Something that can be seen is more persuasive than concepts.  In trying to prove how having numerous suppliers for any one item was reducing a company’s ability to attain competitive prices, a graph plotting the expenses could be projected on the wall.

Alternatively, throwing the identical and variously-priced objects on the board table,  the point of wasting money through decentralised purchasing decisions is made more succinctly.  It’s visual and real, allowing people to see and feel, in both senses of the word.

To read a case study of Joe Stegner did this at Deere, go here.


3. Focus on the individual:

When charities plead for money, they don’t show you a matrix of data but a face of a child (usually). In their literature, they will then focus on the story of this one individual to explain the issues. Take us for a moment into the life of another and we can walk in their shoes without having to take ours off.


4. Build an imaginary contrasted future

Paint a vivid picture of the situation now:

a) What are you seeing now that isn’t working?
b) How will this problem make everything worse?
c) What else will go wrong if we carry on like this?

Paint the enlightened future:

a) What would we see that will tell us the situation has improved?
b) What else would get better as a result of this?
c) What are the first steps to make this change easy, whereby we’d get our first small wins?


How to use these techniques:

You could apply them:

  • in a pitch or presentation
  • to change behaviour in feedback situations
  • in persuading teams of the benefits of forthcoming change
  • for marketing or advertising products


So when will you use one of these methods and how will you apply it?

Let me know here!