• Barb Mayfield

Is your communication hurricane proof?


Well-constructed communication is like having a foundation that is unshakable. This photo shows our February house on Cape San Blas, Florida. This house withstood the near category 5 winds and storm surge of Hurricane Michael last October relatively unscathed. Many homes in the path of the hurricane were reduced to rubble. The houses on either side of this one had to be completely gutted. Construction crews are working to get them livable again.

Advance steps taken to strategically organize any type of communication – an article, a presentation, a demonstration – pay off in communication that produces results. Effective communication is well-designed with an audience-driven purpose, with content focused on key points and supported by evidence, illustrations and context, and is creatively organized to tell a story, which engages the audience and helps them apply knowledge-gains and take action.

This tip series shares 5 proven strategies for effectively organizing a presentation. Download your free copy of tip series #15, or any of the others here: https://www.nutritioncommunicator.com/resources by clicking on the bright pink free tip sheet button.

The 5 strategies are:

#1 Determine an audience-driven purpose

A presentation is designed and delivered for a reason – and the way it is organized should help achieve that purpose. Effective presentations are those that meet the needs of the audience. They address and solve problems the audience cares about. Therefore, the first step in designing a presentation is determining its purpose from the perspective of the audience.

#2 Focus content, evidence, illustrations, and context on key points

As you determine specific content to present to support your key points, brainstorm what is known about the topic, then create lists of supporting evidence, and potential illustrations and anecdotes to provide meaningful context. Narrow what you present to what the audience most needs to know, builds on their current knowledge, and answers their most pressing questions.

#3 Craft a story line or theme that answers why, what, and how

Create a solid foundation or unifying theme for your presentation that successfully ties the entire presentation together. An effective approach is to tell a story or take the audience on a journey. A story presents relatable characters and a realistic conflict or problems to solve. The presentation tells why overcoming the struggle is necessary, what is needed, and how to do it.

#4 Vary your presentation approach to meet varied audience preferences

An audience is made up of people with diverse learning preferences and personalities. To most effectively reach everyone, vary the approaches used to deliver your content. Include reading, listening, observing, reflecting, discussing, and engaging in hands-on activities. Everyone benefits from learning and processing information in a variety of ways. Change it up.

#5 Engage your audience to apply knowledge gained and take action

Audiences learn by doing. Provide opportunities for audiences to apply the knowledge they gain from your presentation and put it into practice in real life situations. Show and tell how to do something and then have the audience participate through guided practice and mastery experiences. Build self-efficacy and promote taking action. Don’t simply educate, inspire positive behaviors.

The devastation in this area of Florida is heartbreaking. We feel very fortunate to be enjoying this beautiful home and helping bring tourism back to the cape. As the area rebuilds, measures are being taken to construct homes that will better withstand future storms. As you construct your communication, build it well – with a strong foundation, focused, organized, and built to be effective.

“Every great achievement in this world was first carefully thought out... Think – but to a purpose. Think constructively… There can be no advancement or success without serious thought.” ~ George Matthew Adams

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