Once you’ve sorted out the Purpose and Audience, you need to wrap your head around the Resources you’ll have available.
The default example is PowerPoint (for presentations, that is) – it’s what everyone uses, so it’s what everyone sees, so it’s what everyone uses. That means it’s what everyone sees, so it’s what everyone uses… which means that… and so it goes on. The best way to move your audience to change their behaviour is to move their emotions and, whether or not PowerPoint can give them facts and figures, it’s not great at emotional impact.
|With that in mind, it’s time to marshal your resources. |
Jot down things which you’d have available to you, separately for each of the three different categories of resources for each of these scenarios:
- You’re going to present to your co-workers, many of whom are people you work with daily and know as friends – plus a few other people from other departments. You need to explore the progress (or lack of it) in a project to upgrade the new IT system to something called the Bridges Package which is an expensive, but very nice, third party software that allows you and your team to do your work with a significantly lower error-rate.
- The local community ‘writers group’ has asked you to make a presentation about your success as an author, after your latest book made you an overnight success. That’s what they think at least… but you know that you’d been working for about 10 years before the breakthrough, slogging away and publishing many failed books. You even published and printed at your own expense before the success of this big-name-publisher book.
- A scenario of your own.
(If you’ve got a presentation coming up, for example, use that. If you haven’t, you’re best to think of a hypothetical one. It’s easier to do this exercise when it’s applied to specific examples.)
Now take a break so you’re fresh, and come back to each of those three situations in turn. When you’re fresh, ask yourself, honestly, what you could do to increase each of the three types of resource for each of the situations. For example, you might be able to get tangible resources for the first scenario by asking the people who make the Bridges Package itself. Or you might be able to get more human resources by asking one of your friends in your team to give you a hand…
You might not find ways to get more Resources, I get that – but all too often people assume what they’ve got is what they’ve got. By using a structured approach like this you can often find ways to get some support.
Don’t worry too much if that second part is hard. Ironically, the more thoroughly you do the first bit, the harder the second bit is.