Heads Up, Phones Down

phones_down_blog

When I was at dinner last night, I couldn’t help but notice that everywhere I looked, people were on their phones. At one table, I saw a person talking to someone who was staring at his phone during the whole conversation.

With 24/7 access to email, to Facebook, to Twitter, or to whatever other apps might be your phone, distraction is easy to come by. In a recent study published in the New York Times, 89% of people said they’d used their phones during the last social event they attended.

If it’s this hard to stay focused when you’re out with friends, then a boring business meeting doesn’t stand a chance. And the standard “data dump” presentation definitely isn’t going to cut it.

To keep your audience focused on you and not their phones during your next meeting, you need to make two things happen:

1.     Keep your content audience-centered. Your message needs to be relevant to your audience. If your content is centered on you and what you need from them, it’s not going to be heard. Ask yourself, “Am I speaking to what the audience can do for me or what I can do to for my audience?”

2.     Build a strong emotional connection with your listeners. People want to feel like they can trust who they’re listening to. They want to feel warmth coming from a speaker. Smile. Use body language. Lighten up your face. All of these strategies are simple ways to warm up your tone and build connection and trust.

If you’re serious about building your skill (and keeping people off their phones during your next presentation), then check out our new book, Communicate to Influence where we lay out step-by-step details for creating audience-centered content and building connection.

 

book_banner_blog

Falling on Deaf Ears

We’ve all been there. Eyes glaze over, attention is diverted to the closest device…it’s that moment when you realize everyone in your meeting has tuned out. Your message is falling on deaf ears. We’re thankful that Chip and Dan Heath wrote the foreword for our new book, and in it, … Continue reading

Are You A Leader We Can Bank On?

“Focus on the jockey as much as the horse. Or, if racing eludes you, bet on the head coach…would you feel confident investing your hard-earned money on a legal bet this weekend on a team in the NFL without researching or knowing the history of the coach of that team?” – … Continue reading

Keep It Simple, Sweetheart

“Considering the inherent value of every person on the planet, I optimistically envision a future where all people are treated equally regardless of what they look like or in what part of the country they live.”    – Not what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said Ever wonder why TED … Continue reading

Just Add Humor

“I love people who make me laugh.  I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh.  It cures a multitude of ills.  It’s probably the most important thing in a person.” – Audrey Hepburn The key to being funny is not worrying about the outcome. Release that armor … Continue reading

How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work

It’s something we all strive to do – make better choices. So much of the work we do at Decker focuses on helping others make better choices. We help people be more influential when they communicate their ideas. And an important part of being more influential comes from understanding how … Continue reading

Fake It Till You Become It

Several of our program leaders use the phrase, “Fake it till you make it” when they are coaching. I prefer to raise the bar on that challenge. Do as social psychologist and HBS Professor Amy Cuddy says: Fake it till you become it. Amy’s TED talk is filled with reasons … Continue reading

Video Blog: Steve Jobs motivated with numbers

Before coming up for air from the new Steve Jobs biography, I stumbled across a great example of how to motivate people by using graspable numbers. We call this a SHARP (Stories, Humor, Analogies, References and Quotes, Pictures and Visuals) using human scale statistics, which we’ve covered before but will again because … Continue reading

A little eye communication goes a long way for WOMM

Last week I wrote on various aspects of eye communication. A couple of experiences prompt me to write again – on how eye communication impacts word of mouth marketing. And how important is word of mouth marketing? 80% of reviews are positive…because people want to share things they enjoy. Known … Continue reading