Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Biggest Mistake People Make When Presenting a Lesson

I see this mistake ALL of the time.  I see it in blog posts, in presentations, in press releases, , and in sales material.

In each of these cases, more often than not, the author, presenter, creator, etc. is trying to present an idea or a lesson.

The person's point may be excellent, but they miss something really important.

The Biggest Mistake: They never build a case about WHY we should care about what they're presenting.

We're just simply lecturing, forgetting that the listener, reader, watcher, etc. does not necessarily have the same background that we do.  We're telling people TO DO something, but we're not making it obvious about why it's worth their time to LEARN...much less why it's worth their time to DO.

Side Note: People make the same mistake with news releases and sales material, also.

Compare the Following Paragraphs (fictitious example)...

Paragraph #1: The Anytown Boys and Girls Club will be meeting in Towne Hall on Main Street on Thursday at 7:30 p.m to discuss upcoming events.  There is not any cost but registration is required.

Paragraph #2: Just like previous generations, boys and girls are curious people who want to learn but are not sure what they need or want to learn.  Without guidance, they could decide to learn things adults really do not want them to learn yet, adversely affecting our neighborhood streets.  On Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Towne Hall on Main Street, the Anytown Boys and Girls Club will be meeting to discuss volunteer projects and events to help shape children's experiences.  There is not any cost but registration is required.

Now, if you weren't already part of the Anytown Boys and Girls Club, would you really continue reading about that event?  Probably not.

However, if you're a concerned person living in Anytown, might you have more "incentive" to attend this meeting now?  (A real pro would have made things look really dire, but this was simply meant to be an example.)

When you're presenting something in print or in person, have you made the reason clear why your reader should keep reading...or the listener keep paying attention to you?

If not, you could be wasting your time, and that would be a BIG mistake!

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