by Dr. Schien Ninan

Almost everyone makes this typical mistake – why you focus on the “wrong“ people!

If you present to a small group, which people should you pay particular attention to?
Well, it primarily depends on their attitude towards the topic!

A broad panorama

The attitude towards your listeners can represent five different roles.

In addition to the three obvious roles in the middle, you see two extremes on the left and right. These two differ from the other roles by actively speaking for or against you.

The decisive question

Please assume that you have a group in front of you where each of these roles is represented by one person. All those people are on the same hierachical level and are equally important for you. Of course, you will not ignore anybody, but

“on which roles do you primarily focus your attention in the meeting?”

Do not scroll further down as long as you have not made up your mind!



















The typical mistake

Typically, speakers and presenters focus on both extremes on the sides, and on those with a positive attitude. Why? Because the extremes attract more attention and the positive listener is simply pleasant to deal with.

However, this is exactly the wrong strategy in pursuing a goal, because there is not much to win. People with a positive and actively positive attitude are already on your side, so it is no longer necessary to win them over. With the actively negative people, you cannot win a lot either, because you cannot move them further than to a negative attitude.

Recognizing the right opportunities

The negative and neutral roles provide the best opportunities, because you can move them one step to the right, and that way turn the overall mood within a meeting.

This means for you:

Do not let yourself be tempted by the active listeners and the most pleasant roles. Focus on your opportunities!

You will get many tried and tested techniques and tools for such situations in our training Presenting in meetings, sales & consulting.


P.S.: There is one exception. If there are people in the audience who assume an actively negative role, but must give their approval, you should certainly focus on them. However, in such a case you will probably need more than one meeting …

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