The 15 questions
I’m watching a master amplifier speak. She is polished in a way that suggests a presentation style earned by time on her feet. As the leader of her business unit, she is under pressure to deliver results, and a recent shift in business strategy is not helping. Status quo being the enemy of all new initiatives, she knows her message has to be heard and her team needs to embrace change. She also knows few people like change.
There are clues as to why one speaker is better than another, why one leader’s words have more impact than another. One clue is in the focus of their message — is it ‘I’, is it ‘you’, or is it ‘we’ focused? Another clue lies in their awareness, innate or developed, around whether it’s time to deliver the message, or whether the audience, the team, is not yet ready.
There are 15 questions listed in Table 10.1 in the minds of your audience members that need to be answered before you can deliver the content of your message. These questions are often unconscious, but answering them in advance means that people are more receptive to what you have to say and more likely to remember what you have said. If the message you deliver is relevant, thorough, elegant and unique, then the audience just may act on it. The answers to these questions ‘frame out’ any concerns that may be present, position the amplifier with humility and enrol the senior or most experienced people in the room to your agenda. It’s this process of framing that sets up ...