Olivia Mitchell is one of the best experts on the web when it comes to presentations and public speaking.

She gets it.

I have been following her for over a year now and have been constantly amazed at the quality of her posts and her use of research to back up her statements.  In this post, she talks about three myths of public speaking – read it and let me know if you don’t change your mind after reading this.

After reading it, I started to think about how these myths often get in the way of effectively communicating incentive and compensation plans to people as well…

Myth #1: It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it

When we are presenting information about incentive plans or compensation – we need to be wary of not falling into the trap of thinking it is all about style.  There is significant substance that needs to be conveyed.  Participants need to understand how their plan works, what the measures are, how their goals are set, and how they are eligible.

Sometimes this can be complex.

And just because you have a fancy graphic or cute quip about it, doesn’t mean that the plan gets understood.  Substance is still key.

Myth #2: Adapt to the learning styles of your audience

So often we try to create our plan training and communication so that it “adapts” to the learning style of our audience.  As shown by Olivia, this type of adaptation isn’t supported by research.  We would do better to focus in on what are the key elements that we need to ensure that everyone know and hammer those points home.

Communications need to be consistent across the company and ensure that the information transmitted is understood – but that does not mean having to create 20 different versions for individuals learning styles to be matched…

Myth #3: You must grab people’s attention at the start

We fall prey to this one all the time.  Hit them over the head with some great line or stunning visual at the beginning.  Remember we are communicating information about people’s compensation – they ARE INTERESTED IN IT.

That is not to say that you want the communications to be boring – but again, we need to focus in on effectively communicating the content in a way that is easy to understand and applicable.

Let us know what you think – click on “comment” below and leave a thought!

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