If you’re going to do a presentation (instead of sending a memo)…
If you’re going to do a sales call (instead of staying home)…
it’s because you want to make a change happen. What action are you seeking?
There are two kinds of changes you could work with:
1. There’s already a goal and a set of commitments, and here’s an update as to how to take appropriate action to reach that goal.
Example: The GPS in your car. It knows you want to go to Cleveland. It’s giving you an update about where to turn to get there, or an alert about traffic up ahead that will be relevant to your journey. Note the GPS isn’t asking you about why you want to go to Cleveland nor is it trying to get you to go somewhere else.
2. The presenter wants a change in priorities, to want something different.
Example: I know that you’ve never given to a charity like this one before, but once you see the urgency of what’s happening, it will change your mind.
If you’re doing a GPS update, then your presentation ought to be focused on communicating the facts and changes we know we need to take action on.
On the other hand, if you’re doing a presentation about changing people’s minds, please spare us the irrelevant coordinates and turn by turn announcements. You came for a change, please ask for it.