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Behaviour Change – not just knowledge

Sep 28 • Morry Morgan Blog, Presentation Skills, Trainers Blogs • 4644 Views • No Comments on Behaviour Change – not just knowledge

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IN A BLOG POST by Pat McDonald, he highlighted that creating behaviour change is the “ultimate goal” of our training.

This is true for training, and is also true for presentations in general.

For example, in our presentations module – Key Message – we highlight that the ‘take home message’ from a training should not focus on just passing on ‘knowledge’ to the audience but rather encouraging the audience to do something.
‘Knowing’ and ‘doing’ are two very different levels of cognition.
Take Shanghai taxi drivers, for example. They know the road rules, but do they follow them? If Shanghai citizens ‘know’ that a ‘red man’ on the traffic lights means ‘don’t walk’, why are there uniformed pedestrian police enforcing this basic knowledge?

The key to a great presentation is firstly understanding this difference, and then redirecting your presentation away from simply passing on knowledge, to changing the behaviour of your audience. After all, if you just want to inform, then send an e-mail. Your audience can read it at a time convenient to them. But if you must present, ensure you have a key message.

So what does a key message contain? Firstly it must have a benefit for the audience, be directed at the audience and not the presenter, and finally should contain an action. For example:

1. “By the end of this presentation you are going to see that increasing the marketing budget by 10% will ensure that we reach our end of your sales targets which will help you reach your KPIs”.

2. “After this presentation you will begin using our new financial reporting software, since it will save you time by removing the necessity to write end of month reports.”

Both examples would be spoken, not written on the PowerPoint, and repeated, or paraphrased, throughout the presentation. And at the end of the presentation the behaviour change would be clear. Presenter one would have approval for a budget increase and presenter two would implement the use of new software through the organisation.

The ultimate goal of behaviour change obtained.

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