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370 Where To Draw The Line Between Lecturing To And Engaging With My Audience When Presenting In Japan

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Manage episode 397229632 series 2950797
Kandungan disediakan oleh Greg Story and Dale Carnegie Training. Semua kandungan podcast termasuk episod, grafik dan perihalan podcast dimuat naik dan disediakan terus oleh Greg Story and Dale Carnegie Training atau rakan kongsi platform podcast mereka. Jika anda percaya seseorang menggunakan karya berhak cipta anda tanpa kebenaran anda, anda boleh mengikuti proses yang digariskan di sini https://ms.player.fm/legal.

The education system in Japan from the early stages, right the way through varsity to most corporate training, is based on the lecture model. The instructor provides the information, and the participants write it all down. It is a very one directional, passive approach. When we are presenting, what do we do when we are using the “inform” model? Where are we supposed to draw the line between just passing on valuable information to the audience and trying to engage the audience? Are these two aims mutually exclusive? Isn’t the reason we are invited to speak is because we have valuable things to impart to the audience? Isn’t the reason the audience has turned up is to gain insights, perspectives and information they don’t already possess?

I am sure we all agree that the speaker has to provide value to the listeners otherwise what is the point of them paying the dough and investing their time to attend? The question becomes how to provide the required value? Can the speaker have excellent experience, clear insights, rich data and be engaging at the same time? The answer is yes and let me use a local example to make the point. Jesper Koll is a well-known economist here in Tokyo and he does a lot of public speaking. I am a fan and have attended maybe twenty of his presentations over the years. To my mind, they always hit the right combination of excellent experience, clear insights, rich data and are kept engaging.

What is Jesper doing which is working so well? He is always high energy, humorous, provides high quality statistics and data and most importantly, he has an intent to engage everyone in the crowd. Speaker intention is a key asset to be successful. He doesn’t see his role is to just dump a lot of data on his audience and imagine his work is done. He is going for much more than that. He wants to get a strong reaction from his audience and he is always successful in that aim.

Storytelling is an asset for Jesper. Rather than just giving everyone a download of facts, he wraps them up in stories. This makes the information much easier to absorb, digest and recall. Think about what stories you have to thread your data through. The story sticks and therefore so does the data. Here is a simple example. Say the data showed that the number of young people in Japan aged 15-34 has halved in the last twenty years and is going to halve again in the next thirty-five years.

We could just state the facts or we could wrap it up in a story like this: “It was a snowy day in Tokyo and I was visiting my client in Otemachi. It was really miserable outside, so I was glad to get out of the cold and into the warmth of his office on the 23rd floor. We were sitting in their expensive, well-appointed leather and walnut Boardroom with his HR team and we were discussing the problems of recruiting and retaining staff. I didn’t know these numbers, but on the huge monitor on the wall, his head of HR Ms. Inoue put up the demographic projections for Japan. In the last twenty years we have halved the number of people age 15-34. What was highlighted to me was that the projections showed we would lose another half again over the next 35years. I was silently wondering where we would find the staff we need to expand the business in the future”. By using storytelling we have taken the audience to a place in their mind’s eye, where they can see a snowy Otemachi, a gorgeous Boardroom, and a huge monitor showing the statistics. Threading the numbers into the story makes it more likely we will retain the data well after the talk and as speakers that is what we want isn’t it, to be remembered as someone providing value.

Jesper also uses rhetorical questions very well. He will come and stand right in front of someone in the audience, towering over them and lay down the question. The victim is usually paralysed by fear at this point because (a) they think they have to provide an answer in public and (b) they don’t know the answer. Just in the nick of time Jesper wades in to the rescue with the answer. At this point, the victim realises that this was a rhetorical question after all and not something they were obliged to answer. Floods of relief abound at this point.

The upshot is that he keeps his audience on their toes and engaged with the proceedings. Trust me, you don’t want to be daydreaming when he is speaking, so he keeps everyone paying close attention to what he says. He is using his eye contact constantly with individuals in the crowd. This personalises the talk, rather than leaving it as the spray the eye contact everywhere, at the same time, alternative. That method engages precisely no one. Watch Japanese politicians. You will see they are masters of fakery, looking like they are making eye contact with the crowd, swivelling their heads to and fro, without managing to make any engagement with anyone.

Why is the lecture style of speech here so popular? As I mentioned this is the model most people have been exposed to since birth, so this has become the default standard. Anything else looks like heresy in a culture where conforming is the best path to safety. You get along in Japan by going along and so no rocking the boat. Does anyone audit the results of these lectures masquerading as speeches? No, so the crime against humanity continues from one generation to the next.

The reason this style of speech has reached its end use date is because of technology. The mobile phone instantly connects everyone to the lure of the internet. With advances in AI you can access data so quickly, we don’t need to be told stuff anymore. Just data by itself isn’t enough. We need insights, fresh perspectives, guides on how to apply the data and access to the experiences of others. We want to learn what we should do in a similar situation.

In the past, the moment the speaker looked boring, that is to say, started lecturing, the Japanese audience’s traditional remedy was to fall asleep. I have seen plenty of that in my 39 years here. However today, the listeners are now wide awake and on their phone accessing the internet. The competition for mind space is relentless and getting harder, as concentration spans shrink, and distractions abound.

The speaker has to thread the needle between imparting valuable data and information and keeping the audience engaged and with them, so that the listeners can receive the key messages the speaker is trying to convey. As mentioned, we need to be energised and highly proactive to secure their engagement. Fresh data, insights, rhetorical questions, eye contact, voice modulation and storytelling are excellent tools for achieving that outcome.

At the start, I asked the questions, “When we are presenting, what do we do when we are using the “inform” model? Where are we supposed to draw the line between just passing on valuable information to the audience and trying to engage the audience? Are these two aims mutually exclusive?”. The clear answer is they are not in opposition to each other. Take Jesper’s example to heart and there will be no reason why we can’t all have both.

  continue reading

390 episod

Artwork
iconKongsi
 
Manage episode 397229632 series 2950797
Kandungan disediakan oleh Greg Story and Dale Carnegie Training. Semua kandungan podcast termasuk episod, grafik dan perihalan podcast dimuat naik dan disediakan terus oleh Greg Story and Dale Carnegie Training atau rakan kongsi platform podcast mereka. Jika anda percaya seseorang menggunakan karya berhak cipta anda tanpa kebenaran anda, anda boleh mengikuti proses yang digariskan di sini https://ms.player.fm/legal.

The education system in Japan from the early stages, right the way through varsity to most corporate training, is based on the lecture model. The instructor provides the information, and the participants write it all down. It is a very one directional, passive approach. When we are presenting, what do we do when we are using the “inform” model? Where are we supposed to draw the line between just passing on valuable information to the audience and trying to engage the audience? Are these two aims mutually exclusive? Isn’t the reason we are invited to speak is because we have valuable things to impart to the audience? Isn’t the reason the audience has turned up is to gain insights, perspectives and information they don’t already possess?

I am sure we all agree that the speaker has to provide value to the listeners otherwise what is the point of them paying the dough and investing their time to attend? The question becomes how to provide the required value? Can the speaker have excellent experience, clear insights, rich data and be engaging at the same time? The answer is yes and let me use a local example to make the point. Jesper Koll is a well-known economist here in Tokyo and he does a lot of public speaking. I am a fan and have attended maybe twenty of his presentations over the years. To my mind, they always hit the right combination of excellent experience, clear insights, rich data and are kept engaging.

What is Jesper doing which is working so well? He is always high energy, humorous, provides high quality statistics and data and most importantly, he has an intent to engage everyone in the crowd. Speaker intention is a key asset to be successful. He doesn’t see his role is to just dump a lot of data on his audience and imagine his work is done. He is going for much more than that. He wants to get a strong reaction from his audience and he is always successful in that aim.

Storytelling is an asset for Jesper. Rather than just giving everyone a download of facts, he wraps them up in stories. This makes the information much easier to absorb, digest and recall. Think about what stories you have to thread your data through. The story sticks and therefore so does the data. Here is a simple example. Say the data showed that the number of young people in Japan aged 15-34 has halved in the last twenty years and is going to halve again in the next thirty-five years.

We could just state the facts or we could wrap it up in a story like this: “It was a snowy day in Tokyo and I was visiting my client in Otemachi. It was really miserable outside, so I was glad to get out of the cold and into the warmth of his office on the 23rd floor. We were sitting in their expensive, well-appointed leather and walnut Boardroom with his HR team and we were discussing the problems of recruiting and retaining staff. I didn’t know these numbers, but on the huge monitor on the wall, his head of HR Ms. Inoue put up the demographic projections for Japan. In the last twenty years we have halved the number of people age 15-34. What was highlighted to me was that the projections showed we would lose another half again over the next 35years. I was silently wondering where we would find the staff we need to expand the business in the future”. By using storytelling we have taken the audience to a place in their mind’s eye, where they can see a snowy Otemachi, a gorgeous Boardroom, and a huge monitor showing the statistics. Threading the numbers into the story makes it more likely we will retain the data well after the talk and as speakers that is what we want isn’t it, to be remembered as someone providing value.

Jesper also uses rhetorical questions very well. He will come and stand right in front of someone in the audience, towering over them and lay down the question. The victim is usually paralysed by fear at this point because (a) they think they have to provide an answer in public and (b) they don’t know the answer. Just in the nick of time Jesper wades in to the rescue with the answer. At this point, the victim realises that this was a rhetorical question after all and not something they were obliged to answer. Floods of relief abound at this point.

The upshot is that he keeps his audience on their toes and engaged with the proceedings. Trust me, you don’t want to be daydreaming when he is speaking, so he keeps everyone paying close attention to what he says. He is using his eye contact constantly with individuals in the crowd. This personalises the talk, rather than leaving it as the spray the eye contact everywhere, at the same time, alternative. That method engages precisely no one. Watch Japanese politicians. You will see they are masters of fakery, looking like they are making eye contact with the crowd, swivelling their heads to and fro, without managing to make any engagement with anyone.

Why is the lecture style of speech here so popular? As I mentioned this is the model most people have been exposed to since birth, so this has become the default standard. Anything else looks like heresy in a culture where conforming is the best path to safety. You get along in Japan by going along and so no rocking the boat. Does anyone audit the results of these lectures masquerading as speeches? No, so the crime against humanity continues from one generation to the next.

The reason this style of speech has reached its end use date is because of technology. The mobile phone instantly connects everyone to the lure of the internet. With advances in AI you can access data so quickly, we don’t need to be told stuff anymore. Just data by itself isn’t enough. We need insights, fresh perspectives, guides on how to apply the data and access to the experiences of others. We want to learn what we should do in a similar situation.

In the past, the moment the speaker looked boring, that is to say, started lecturing, the Japanese audience’s traditional remedy was to fall asleep. I have seen plenty of that in my 39 years here. However today, the listeners are now wide awake and on their phone accessing the internet. The competition for mind space is relentless and getting harder, as concentration spans shrink, and distractions abound.

The speaker has to thread the needle between imparting valuable data and information and keeping the audience engaged and with them, so that the listeners can receive the key messages the speaker is trying to convey. As mentioned, we need to be energised and highly proactive to secure their engagement. Fresh data, insights, rhetorical questions, eye contact, voice modulation and storytelling are excellent tools for achieving that outcome.

At the start, I asked the questions, “When we are presenting, what do we do when we are using the “inform” model? Where are we supposed to draw the line between just passing on valuable information to the audience and trying to engage the audience? Are these two aims mutually exclusive?”. The clear answer is they are not in opposition to each other. Take Jesper’s example to heart and there will be no reason why we can’t all have both.

  continue reading

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