SP Tip # 79: Distance yourself from a bad idea...

Distance Yourself From a Bad Idea

Presentation Skills
Bad ideas in the past

There might be times when you want to persuade your audience to change. You can use logic, stories, charts and success stories to move them. Here is a subtle technique that can help you.
You physically position the good from the bad.

How do you do that?
You move from left to right. Be sure to move left to right as your audience sees it - not your left to right. You will have to rehearse this to get it right.
Good ideas in the future

Why does this work?
European based languages, including English, reads from left to right. Therefore we have been conditioned since we first started to read to assume that progress moves from left to right.
We read text from left to right to discover more, to learn what happens next and are rewarded with the answers to our questions. Hence the simple act of moving our eyes from left to right tends to build our expectations of progress and good things.

When presenting, you can use this to your advantage by placing bad ideas, the status quo or the past on your right side. That is the left side for the audience.

You can also do this by holding your right hand out or taking a step to your right when you talk about the bad ideas. That visually places the bad idea in the past to acknowledge it while guiding the audience to move on to better things.

Then you show progress by taking a step to your left or holding out your left hand when you talk about good ideas. You place the idea you are selling in the future to encourage acceptance.
You can use this technique to place objections, past failings or criticism's on your right (the audience's left) and hence in the position of bad ideas.

You can use this technique to position a question or idea as bad or good just by your physical movement without saying a word.

Of course, when you speak in the Middle East you need to remember that they read from right to left.

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