11-20-13 Know Thyself OracleofDelphiWeb  


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How Leaders Judge a Presentation

The association that hired me to deliver the leadership keynote earlier that day also asked me to moderate Rick’s afternoon session. Rick was a good HR leader, but a terrible presenter. The squinting audience needed binoculars to read his crowded “slides.” His meandering and monotone voice was a lullaby to heavy eyelids.

Rick droned on about why his HR team developed a new training program and how he assessed their pilot program. That’s when I felt a double-espresso jolt!

Use It, Don't Lose It

Apply what you learn from ANY meeting!

Even though Rick’s presentation skills were poor, my brain swirled as he reminded these leaders about Professor Donald Kirkpatrick’s method of measuring the effectiveness of any educational program (i.e. courses, conferences, meetings, presentations…). Rick pointed out that Kirkpatrick’s four levels of evaluation have been the accepted standard for decades:

1 – Participant reactions (smile sheets).
2 – Skill or knowledge learned (tests).
3 – Behavior changed on the job (applications at work).
4 – Business impact (bottom-line results).

Most leadership training programs, meetings and presentations are assessed using smile sheets. (Level 1 = “They liked you. They really liked you!”) Now, imagine if you decided to take your educational endeavors to a higher level (from Level 1 to Level 3). In other words, what if you focused everything you said during your meetings on what you wanted leaders to do after them?

Rick closed his speech, the leadership audience applauded politely, and I facilitated a brief question-and-answer session with a modicum of competence. Later, as I sat in the emptied meeting room, I contemplated what I had just learned from a boring speaker. My leadership lessons have morphed into two fundamental questions that I now answer before all my engagements:

I. What do I want leaders to DO after my program?
II. What tools can I provide that will make it easier for leaders to apply my ideas?

What if you answered these questions before your meetings, presentations, or conferences? Why not start now? How surprised will you be that you’ve taken your meetings to the next level because your audiences’ actions are the echoes of your words?

By the way, although Rick lacked presentation skills, he inspired me to revamp my closing keynote called “Use It, Don’t Lose It – How to Apply What You Learn at ANY Meeting.” By facilitating this “best practices” session at the end of leadership conferences, retreats, and workshops, I’m helping leaders take their meetings to the next level. Let’s chat about how I can do the same for you.

Keep stretching when you’re pulled,

“The success of a presentation, meeting, or conference should be judged by what happens after.”

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