Generally speaking, professionals in your work world are busy people. More to the point, they have limited time and interest in other people’s problems. However, they do possess an unwavering interest in their own lives and predicaments. That said; if you want to engage an audience you need to identify the problem faced by your listeners and then go on to SOLVE it!! Moreover, you want to impress upon them that they can solve their own predicament by listening to your talk and following the steps you provide.
Solution focused speaking is an important tool in your communication tool box. By highlighting the pain or dilemma your listeners face you can then let them know that your presentation will provide key tools to assist them in resolving their own issue. One way to share your solution and how it applies to your listener is to outline your experience and how it applies to the audience by using the W4H1 Approach. This W4H1 approach has long been used by writers to convey information in a concise and organized manner. It involves utilizing a five-pronged explanatory approach by asking and answering five questions; these questions start with either a “W” or an “H”. For example, look at questions that start with: What? Where? When? Why? & How? This combination of five helps you to provide a concise overview of your own experience.
For example, let’s say that you were talking to a group of professionals who were concerned about upcoming layoffs. After first tapping into the pain and anguish this is undoubtedly producing in a group of staff, you could discuss how you successfully prepared for and transitioned through a lay off experience by starting your own consulting business. Let’s look at the W4H1 approach and how it would apply to this example of starting a consulting business. Notice that the questions are also written in an audience focused manner by dealing with what THEY can do, rather than a pure history of what YOU yourself did.
- What Can You Do?
- Where Can You Find Customers?
- When Should You Start Your Business?
- Why Promote Your Services?
- How Can You Promote Your Services?
By answering each of these questions in a clear and concise manner you are directing your audience to solution oriented steps that they can take to resolve their issue. Your audience will thank you for not only connecting with their dilemma, but for explicitly helping them to understand a solution and take action! For more information on how to communicate with your audience visit our website at www.boldnewdirections.com to find out about presentation skills training, communication seminars, free reports and more!
Suzanne Guthrie is a warm and engaging facilitator, speaker and coach. She is also the Director of Transformational Learning at Bold New Directions, a global learning company that partners with Fortune 500 organizations to transform people and performance. Bold New Directions specializes in three critical areas of professional success: Leadership Skills, Communication Skills and Resilience at work. Suzanne has delivered powerful training seminars from Boston to Brazil and is a sought after speaker on communication and resilience. Learn more about Suzanne Guthrie and Bold New Directions at www.boldnewdirections.com
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