If you do an internet search of “modes of communication” or something similar, you’ll see lots of information about different presentation styles.  You might identify yourself as a “passive-aggressive” communicator; or maybe your style is ”ideas oriented”; perhaps your personality lends itself to being “the visionary”.

Whatever your natural style of communication, to stay in one mode for an entire presentation is much less effective than weaving together the different elements of speech that motivate, persuade, inform, and inspire.

Let me explain.

I’ve identified four “pools” which my clients broadly fall in to:

  1. Thought
  2. Action
  3. Empathy
  4. Imagination

This means that, generally speaking, when I describe the characteristics of these pools, my client will identify one pool where they tend to hang out the most.

If they’re most comfortable in the “Action” pool, they tend to be pretty punchy: they’re direct, results driven, and say things like “we must do this….” and “we will do that…”.

And, of course, a good presentation will have a very clearly identified action at the core. But you can’t just tell your listeners what to do: you need to show them how, and why.

If, on the other hand, they align themselves more closely with the pool of “Imagination”, they’re great at painting a picture of what life could be like: inspiring their listener through exciting, metaphorical language, fast-paced and physical…but if there are no established facts and outcomes to base all this on, why should the listener buy in to it? Where’s the credibility?

The credibility comes from the “Thought” pool – this is where a client sits nicely if they enjoy facts and data; they use calm, rational language and moderate their voice to transfer their information.

Essential. But boring…

So, you need to splash around in the “Empathy” pool, too. This is where you show your listeners that you’re one of them: you’ve thought about their problems, you understand their dreams.  You’re passionate, sympathetic and in sync with their voice and movements… but it can be exhausting for a listener to stay in this emotional state for an entire presentation.

You can see, I hope, the importance of dipping in and out of the Four Pools throughout your presentation. You need the persuasive skill of empathy, and the excited passion of Imagination, but you need to support all that with Thought and reason, and direct your listener with clear Action.

For help with crafting your next presentation, teaching you the life-long skills you need to carefully weave together your Four Pools, get in touch.