Motivating Presentation: It Wasn't Only The Egyptians Who
When giving a motivating presentation, audience analysis is essential. You
must think of your presentation from your audience's viewpoint. Chances are your
audience has been asked to attend your presentation (they have not come along
voluntarily) and many well be thinking: "What's in it for me?"
Don't take that personally. When giving a motivational
presentation, that "What's in it for me?" question should be your call to
action. For your presentation to succeed, that is the question you need to
A motivating presentation should be structured in a way that
takes your audience from where they are now to where you would like them to be.
You first must engage your audience's attention at their current level, and then
demonstrate through your presentation how you can fulfill their natural desire
to move up to the next level of motivation. Depending on the goals of your
presentation and the intended audience, whether a sales force, production
personnel or a football team, you must give them a reason to listen to your
presentation. A reason that relates to, and builds on, their own experience.
Way back in 1954, American psychologist Abraham Maslow developed
the idea of a hierarchy pyramid of human needs. That hierarchy pyramid has been
the foundation of motivational presentations ever since. He demonstrated that
there are five basic levels of needs that all people have in common: basic,
safety, social, self esteem and achievement.
Maslow's hierarchy pyramid represents various levels of achievement
In the business environment for example, Maslows hierarchy from the
basic level upward is:
- Basic needs, which can be met through, attractive salary, holiday
- Safety needs, met by safe working conditions, good pension,
- Social needs, such as company fitness and sports club, planned
social events such as office parties (my favorite!)
- Self-esteem needs, by prestigious job titles,
sales-team-of-the-year award, etc.
- Achievement needs, through promotions, interesting job
assignments, and so on
Maslow suggested that people can only be motivated to move up to
the next needs-level when they have satisfactorily met the main requirements of
their current level. In other words, you are unlikely to have much success in
your motivating presentation in telling your audience they have been selected to
work on a prodigious new project (self esteem) if their current concern is
their poor working conditions (safety).
Interestingly, Maslow found that that when the lower-order needs
have been fulfilled, the desire to reach the higher-order needs (self esteem and
achievement) dramatically increase in strength. The ideal motivating
presentation should therefore focus more on the higher-order needs. Needs that
excite people to develop their talents to the best of their abilities and enable
them to finding greater meaning in their work.
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