At the latest Business Growth Workshop at the University Club in Pasadena, James Harwood of Total HR Management introduced an engaging talk by Marion MacKenzie Pyle on effective business presentations. As both a successful author and noted media trainer, Marion MacKenzie Pyle has extensive experience training professionals in how to effectively deliver business content while holding the attention of their audience. If you are able to hold their attention while actually persuading them as well, even going as far as potentially changing their minds, then you truly have been successful.
Effective Business Presentations in the 21st Century
Marion MacKenzie Pyle explained to the gathered audience of Pasadena business owners and executives, “When people are looking at their cellphones, you are losing the room.” With so much access at our fingertips and in our pockets, Marion MacKenzie Pyle described the difficulties of communicating in the modern world and the challenge of effective business presentations.
In the past, people developed their auditory skills to the point where they could follow the line of thought presented by a speaker. Today, in a visual world of social media and video, 83% of learning now happens through sight. With the average length of a person’s attention span dropping in the past decade from 12 minutes to a mere 5 minutes, a speaker needs to capture an audience’s attention within the first 15 seconds of a presentation.
Demographics Vs Psychographics
When it comes to effective business presentations, Marion MacKenzie Pyle strongly emphasized that a speaker needs to start strong and connect with their audience by expressing a combination of credibility and authenticity. Storytelling is very effective as well because it creates a visual image in the mind’s eye.
Given the evolution of technology, the demographics (ethnicity, socio-economic background, age) about an audience are not as important as the psychographics. The psychographics include questions like what the audience wants and what they fear, where they stand on the issues being presented and what resistances they might have to the services a company is providing.
By tailoring a key message to the psychographics of an audience, supported by clear and concise information expressed through imagery, a speaker can truly succeed. If a speaker knows what they want to accomplish in a business presentation, then half the battle is already won. By avoiding the nice to know and highlighting the need to know, a speaker engages their audience on a level that builds trust and fosters recall.
Effective Business Presentations & Human Resources
When asked by James Harwood about the connection between media training and human resources, Marion MacKenzie Pyle described how, “Effective messaging and presentations equip a company’s executive team with the ability to communicate the mission, goals and services of their business to their target markets.”
In the end, Marion MacKenzie Pyle wanted the audience to remember that not only are you as important as the message; you are the message. Once again, the Business Growth Workshop series at the University Club of Pasadena delivered a memorable morning.