If you have ever doubted the impact a single presentation can have, just watch the primaries.

Going in to the primaries the talk was all about how far ahead Howard Dean was in the pack. In most people’s mind he was the forerunner and most likely new candidate.

And then, one presentation changed all that. Howard got wound up and ended up talking fast like a pro wrestler. His credibility that he had built up so hard for so long fell in one single swoop. As the Star Tribune put when comparing Dean’s speech in Iowa to his speech in New Hampshire, “in contrast to his screeching speech after the Iowa caucuses, he spoke calmly and didn’t remove his Navy blue blazer or roll up his shirtsleeves as he’d done then in a televised rant that subjected him to national ridicule.”

He went from being number one to being number three in what all called a “surprise over turn” by John Kerry.

Kerry’s Iowa presentation was charismatic, had good flow, and supported the image of how he wanted people to view him. Now Dean is playing catch up and trying to mold his speech and image to be a bit more refined.

You can’t afford to NOT polish your communication skills as they ARE your REPUTATION, your INTEGRITY, and your KNOWLEDGE. You need to make sure that others can quickly grasp what you are saying so they can make intelligent choices about what you have to offer.

You may be thinking, yea, but does that skill really matter for me? I don’t give large presentations rather I just sell one-on-one to customers or I just do statuses with my boss.

So let’s look at it this way- you have two candidates for a job opening. The first candidate is very skilled and knowledgeable. He gets his work done but he takes a long time to clearly explain to you what he is working on so that you can grasp it and share it with your senior management. The second candidate is also skilled and knowledgeable. He doesn’t have quite the technical expertise of the first candidate but he can quickly and clearly tell you what he is working on, why, and communicate to others so they can jump on the band wagon and help complete the project.

Who do you promote?

I can tell you that in 15 years of working with companies it is almost always the second guy. Why? Because, for the manager, the second guy represents a "freeing up of time" for the manager since it will be easy to follow what he is saying and easy to get others to work with him. The manager knows he doesn’t have to always explain to others what this person is working on and he doesn’t have to run interference because this person will rarely confuse or tick off others.

So if this skill is so critical to sales, leadership, and promotions, why don’t more of us excel at it?

Quite frankly, because we are never educated on how to present well. Think back to the last time you got real training on how to present. Most of my clients have to go back to their sixth grade science report where they stood up front with note cards and shared all the facts they learned about volcanoes with their audience.

Even then, whose project do you remember? The kid that told you all the cool facts about the volcano or the one that actually demonstrated how a volcano works with lava flowing down in a live demonstration?

Logic makes people think but emotions make them act. Good communication always has both factored in to it yet most of us tend to use either logic or emotion when we try to convince others.

Outcome Thinking is so powerful because it is the only communication process that allows you to marry both emotion and logic so you create a powerful presentation that hits home logically and emotionally moves your audience to action.

Test out which one you use by listening to how many times you start your persuasive talk with “I think” (logic) and “I feel” (emotion).

Melissa Root attended one of our seminars and changed her entire sales presentation so that is high in integrity and knowledge. She is now running double the sales of all other people in her company and her average sale price is higher. Her closing ratio has gone up. Melissa called to say she is making more money then she ever dreamed of and she feels great about each sale.

Take Action: With your communication, the proof is in the pudding. Make sure you know how others perceive you, and what your audience needs so you can present from their perspective. It is all about adding value and interpreting the value you are adding so your audience can take action on what you say.

As the leading Outcome Strategist, Anne Warfield shows people how to say the right thing at the right time every time.  The revolutionary Outcome Focus® Approach shows how to build a candid corporate culture of communication that allows you to lead, present and negotiate transformationally rather than transactionally. When applying Outcome Thinking® our client’s results include sales cycles reducing by 75%, turnover reducing by 30%, silos evaporating, and a 25% savings of time by executives.  Find out how you can maximize your corporate culture for greater productivity and results!  Contact us at 888-imp-9421, visit  www.impressionmanagement.com,  or emailcontact@imp.us.com.