The Golden Rule of Communications

by Gilda Bonanno LLC

The Golden Rule of Communications says to communicate unto others as THEY want to be communicated to - not as YOU want to be communicated to....

You may prefer to give a lot of background information about your project, but if you know that your audience of high-level executives are focused on how actual costs compare to budgeted costs, provide that information in the first few minutes of your presentation.

Or maybe you prefer to focus only on the sales data as shown in the monthly spreadsheet, but you know that your audience of sales managers likes to hear about customer experiences.  So start with a customer story and include several more throughout your presentation.

When developing your presentation, focus on your goal - what do you want the audience to understand and remember? And then prepare to deliver that message in a way that will make sense to that audience. Put yourselves in their shoes.  You cannot tell them everything you know about your topic, but only what is most important for them to know, delivered in a way that makes sense to them.

Yes, of course you can "push the envelope" a little and try to move them outside of their comfort zone.  For example, the audience may be used to seeing boring slides of bulleted lists and instead, you provide slides with high-quality images and very little text.  But make sure that your core message is structured and delivered so that it will be clear to the audience. 

Think of it as trying to speak the audience's language - while it may not be native to you and you may not be as comfortable with the grammar and the vocabulary, they will appreciate your effort and it will make it easier for them to understand you.

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