In order to persuade, we need to understand ourselves and others when public speaking

Last month I introduced you to DISC and discussed how understanding yourself and others can make you more persuasive when public speaking.  If you need a refresher, please review my last article.

In this month’s newsletter we’ll look at how you can tailor your presentation when public speaking to best influence the type of audience you have. It is useful to first make an assessment of your audience.

Let’s say, for example, that you are public speaking to a group of engineers. Ask yourself: In general, are they likely to be task oriented or people oriented? More introverted or extroverted?

In my experience engineers tend to be more task oriented and introverted which puts them in the ‘C’ category. What about sales people? You’ll usually find they fall into the ‘I’ group – extroverted and people oriented.

Different behavioural styles require different approaches.

Here are the four different personalities styles and how you can best appeal to them.

D – Dominance

Direct & assertive

Get to the point – NOW!

Waffle at your own risk. You will find a higher incidence of D style personalities in senior management/CEO level. Because of this I developed the ‘Persuasive Executive Summary’ workshop to provide people with the skills to design a presentation to appeal to the D’s. When presenting to this group you want to come across as confident and assertive. Start your presentation boldly with your recommendation and then follow with the supporting data and conclude again by summarising your recommendations with conviction.

I – Influence

Outgoing and talkative

The I’s LOVE to chat.

I had a client who I was coaching recently who was presenting to an audience of 150 sales people. She was planning to lecture to them for three hours delivering vast amounts of technical information.

Disengagement and  boredom would have quickly set in. Instead I suggested she treat her presentation as more of a workshop. Limit the information to the bits that were relevant to them and allow the group plenty of time to discuss, review and process before moving on.

S – Steadiness

Easy going & amiable

S=Stability. Don’t rock the boat.

An audience made up of predominantly S’s can be a real problem when your objective is to get them involved and contributing well. If you’re an extrovert like me, the more you challenge and push them, the more they close down.

There are a couple of things you can do to win this group over:

  1. Don’t put them on the spot. If you want them to contribute, then give them warning. On the meeting agenda let them know that you want them to bring ideas on this subject to discuss.
  2. Put them in small groups. S’s don’t like being the centre of attention. They will be more comfortable discussing their ideas in a group of five than having to speak up in front of a group of 40.

And if you are an extrovert, you may want to consider tempering your style, give them the time and space they need to shine.

C – Compliance

Precise and analytical

This group loooooooves detail!

Depending on your presentation objective you may not be able to include the level of detail they require, but there are two things you can do:

  1. Brainstorm your topic well to uncover all the curly questions as they will want to know the answers.
  2. Include more detail and your contact information in your handout as they will read it and want to contact you later.

I was using an iceberg analogy recently and said 10% of the iceberg floats above the water…. a geophysicist interrupted me with a correction; I was wrong he said, “12.8% of the iceberg floats above the water… and then of course you need to consider the iceberg’s density..”

I rest my case.

A little advice:

DISC is a great starting point as it can help you target your message and create rapport quickly. Just keep in mind though, that these are generalisations and every person is unique and their life experience will alter their perception of your message.

Just because you are an ‘S’ or ‘D’ doesn’t mean you can’t function effectively in other quadrants. We all have the ability to stretch and change…

DISC Advanced

To really understand your strengths and weaknesses, DISC Advanced is the way to go.

DISC Advanced provides you with far greater detail and a 20 page report with a SWOT analysis and recommendations for working with your strengths.

As an Accredited DISC Advanced facilitator I can help you and your team uncover the benefits of self understanding.

Sharon Ferrier
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All Good Presentations Start With a Confident Speaker

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