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Insights on Communication Skills and Relationship Building

Powerful Presentation Ideas: How to Use "Knowledge, Attitude, Action"

Posted by Elizabeth Levey on June 18, 2015

by Elizabeth Levey

elizabeth-levey-1As a leader (and whenever you are in front of a group, you are the leader) you are almost always going to try to motivate your audience to do something. It might be to buy your product, to agree with your idea, or to apply new procedures.

Successful motivation of your audience means getting them to take action because they want to and not because they have to. To accomplish this, you must change your audience’s Knowledge, Attitude, and Action as a result of your presentation.

Knowledge is simply your content; the information you intend to transfer to your audience that they previously did not know.

Attitude is how you want your audience to feel about the Knowledge that they previously did not feel.

Action is what you want your audience to do that they previously did not do or would not have done.

Do you ever feel that motivating your audience to action is impossible? When it comes to influencing listeners, what will help you succeed is human connection. Of these three powerful presentation ideas, the attitude component is the most important. All great leaders need to change the attitude of their respective audiences. If you know how you want your audience to feel about your content, you are more likely to motivate them to take action.

Maybe this is a bit confusing, or sounds too intellectual or esoteric.  But it’s actually an intuitive form of presentation-ideas-knowledge-attitude-actioncommunication that we use all the time in our daily lives.  Let’s say I’m with my 2 year old daughter at her swimming classes.  I set her on the pool deck, and she takes off at a run towards the pool. What’s the Knowledge (or content) I need to convey to her? “Stop! Don’t run!” And what do I want her to do (Action)? Stop running toward the pool.

But the magic component of this equation is “How do I want her to feel about this information?” – the Attitude I want her to have.  In this case, where she’s about to fling herself into some deep water where she can’t swim, I want her to feel shocked, warned, even a bit scared, so much so that she stops in her tracks.  If I think about wanting her to feel this way, my body and voice automatically know what to do. My volume gets very loud, my gestures large and sharp, my pitch very low and authoritative.  These are not planned, technical elements of my communication; rather natural responses born of my focus on how I want the recipient of my communication to feel. 

Know how you want your audience to feel, what you want them to know, and how you want them to act and you naturally change how you communicate your information. When you focus on your audience, you also help to break the cycle of worrying about yourself! The ultimate result? You will be more compelling and enjoyable to listen to because your body, voice, and message will all be connected; you'll be a more powerful and passionate presenter.

Give it a try! Let us know how it goes in the comments below.

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Topics: Presentations, Presentation Skills Training