Today's LinkedIn Nugget

The texture of change

canvasI create a lot of slide decks in my work. I try to mix them up: different backgrounds, fonts, illustrative graphics, etc., yet they all ultimately tell the same story. You know my spiel…

But recently I was challenged to address a couple of all new audiences, yet still convey the same “get on the stick” LinkedIn message:

  1. female political candidates and
  2. performing artists.

1. I’ve already presented to an all-female audience at the national Women in Auto Care conference. Then, as is the case this time, some adaptations to my usual core slide deck have to be made. Certainly some of the graphics need either a gender change, slides reshuffled due to a shortened period for me to speak, or perhaps it just takes a complete overhaul. That part’s fun. You just need to know what to say and what to leave out, given the time allotted. Luckily I do.

Take this comment as me speaking honestly: I believe from my courses that women are more visual learners than men. That said, the female group will get more emphasis on multimedia, including video, both “native” and scened.

Following rules a master presenter taught me a long time ago: a) always customize to the audience, b) realize there are sub-audiences too, c) see rule a. I love knowing I can shake it up and simultaneously freshen my commentary on freshened slides. It makes me a better trainer to engage my attendees.

2. I spoke to an arts guild, a long time ago. That class was off-the-routine-session, more abstract (excuse the adjective). So the upcoming class for performing artists will be best delivered as a pure “ask me anything LinkedIn” session, unscripted, all Q&A, and free-form. They’ll run the show. I’ll just be there to interpret and pontificate.

I’ve offered these “open mic” sessions a few times, most recently at the NY Public Library, where it was very well received; you can see it here. It’s actually fun, for them and for me, yet it takes a lot more energy from me and I leave exhausted knowing I gave them everything I have. The questions are on point, the follow-up comments are amazing. Curiosity abounds and it makes me answer in ways that rise to the top.

Indeed I like to start with a fresh canvas, or at least better paint the images the attendees will cling to for their future. It makes me better too.

How do you customize your work to your audience(s)?


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