Many business professionals today have trouble communicating with prospects and clients because they feel like they need to over-explain themselves; otherwise known as rambling. When you ramble, your result is the opposite of your over-explanation; it repels the attention away from the message. The question is why do business professionals feel the need to over-explain themselves? Not rambling is one of those basic presentation skills that many presenters just don’t have down pat.
Rambling happens agnostically across every industry, but is more obvious in the technical fields. Technical professionals work is complicated, and when you have been in the industry for any length of time, you get accustomed to talking with colleagues. When the need arises to explain your work to family, friends, prospects, or clients, suddenly the explanation of what you do for a living is more complicated than it should be so do not ramble.
Once again, any line of work can get complicated, but in order to explain what you do all day, many people feel the need to explain every tiny detail so that others get a real understanding (that is when you ramble). Here is my question for you – is that really necessary? People don’t need to know every detail of what you do or how you do it, to understand what you do. This clarity is particularly the case in bid presentations and thought leadership presentations.
What listeners really need is enough details to get an overall picture; that means an overview. Additional information gets lost among the details, and your audience receives nothing from your presentation. As a representative of your company, when speaking to others, you need to identify what points to include in the overview that describes your work without too many details.
This is the first key to simplifying your content to your audience’s level. Many presenters ramble because they see that their audience does not understand their message. They think talking more will help to explain it, which it rarely does. Feel free to stop your presentation and ask your audience what is confusing them and respond directly and succinctly.
Keep your response in mind for the next time you present on the topic, it will prevent the dreaded ramble.
Also, when preparing your presentation, practice with a non-technical co-worker or friend to ensure your message is understood. This non-technical practice audience may be your spouse or your office receptionist and this person can tell you when you ramble or when your message is succinct and clear.
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