Most business people are familiar with Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, but have you thought about the Hierarchy of Communications?
Depending on the type of communication the top level can be different, but for most situations the goal is to persuade. You might be selling a product, a vision or a concept, but you want to change the thinking of the person or group you're addressing. Here are the steps we talk about at ITM Speakers:
1. Attention - This is the easiest to achieve. Your audience has put down their phones, closed their laptops and aren't talking. Simply put, they are listening. This is easiest to get, but keeping it takes skill and work.
2. Connection - They have found something that is of interest, or is intriguing, in your talk. Watch for them to be leaning forward and their expressions to change.
3. Persuasion - Once you have them actively listening you have the chance to make your case on why they should change their thinking. How compelling is your argument? Are you applying your argument in a way that makes it the most compelling?
Climbing a set of steps quickly and effectively requires two things; first you have to know the steps are there, and secondly you need the skills to do it without tripping. ;-)
Robert is a speaker coach, actor, director, author, speaker, executive and overall marketing guy. He writes about all aspects of presenting and connecting with audiences.