Communicate to Win – #003: The Goal is Open, Time to Score!

Microsoft reminds us that we make over 30 million presentations using PowerPoint. It is clear that presentations using PowerPoint “decks” have become a key form of communication across-the-board. Presentations take place in all different types of companies, from Fortune 500 to small start-ups, as well as in classrooms.

What exactly is a presentation? It is usually one person speaking to one or more people. Isn’t this truly the essence of communicating an idea?

If you aren’t already convinced of the importance of good communication, these statistics should do the trick. (One small tip if you want to communicate well – back up your message with stats!)

Harris Interactive polled 23,000 U.S. residents employed full-time within primary industries and in key functional areas. Consider a few of their most stunning findings:

  • Only 37% said they have a clear understanding of what their organization is trying to achieve and why.
  • Only one in five was enthusiastic about their team’s and organization’s goals.
  • Only one in five said they have a clear “line of sight” between their tasks and their team’s goals.
  • Only 15% believed that their organization fully enabled them to execute key goals.
  • Only 20% fully trusted their organization.

This may be a sad statement for corporate America, but all I can hear is opportunity for the well-trained communicator – YOU! Here are a few more statistics for you to consider as you begin crafting ideas for your presentation…

  • Auditory learning alone only generates a 10% retention level.
  • Adding visual learning to auditory learning doubles the retention rate to 20%.
  • Adding hands-on or kinesthetic learning to the mix increases retention up to 65%. I’d place a bet with these odds!

Your presentation, whether leveraging PowerPoint or not, needs to stand head and shoulders above the crowd. Let your audience see you shine among the other 30 million! In next week’s Communicate to Win series, I name six influencing style types—or commutation style profiles. Knowing your own style and playing up your attributes is one way to punch your ticket for the fast track to success.

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