Avoiding the Empty Eye-Glaze
Picture of a person using a smartphone
Line Østergaard
Author: Line Østergaard
On October 14, 2010

Do you know this feeling? You are speaking with a colleague or customer about new media. You know that their level of knowledge is not the same nerdy level as yours so you start at the basics and move on up from there. 

As the conversation continues you see itthe glaze! The infamous look in their eyes that tells you that you’ve lost them! Now, I want to share five of my simple tips for how to avoid ‘the glaze’ and invite you to share yours as well. Here we go:

Know some key numbers by heart

This is especially true when you talk to senior executives, who are constantly making decisions based on numbers and ROI.  They are tuned in to thinking about numbers even if you are not in a ‘presenting a business case to you’ kind of mode. That’s why you need to think and breathe numbers.

Get to know them and their interest

Relate what you’re talking about to something they know and like. This makes it easier for them to relate to and therefore understand. This even means if you have to talk about something that is not directly linked to the business but if it gets them to understand the ‘tool’ you’ve managed to open the door to presenting your business idea for new media.

Determine their wall of resistance

Some people have a bigger wall of resistance than others. When dealing with new media it is important to do a bit of research regarding the people that you aim to target. Say for example that you are to talk with the executive committee at your organization. You then want to find out how many of them has a digital social presence. You may also want to find out from your intranet any additional information that can help you bring down their wall.

The elevator stories

Yes, stories- not speeches- don’t just have one, have a variation of elevator stories with the same key message. This way you can avoid sounding like a broken record. With these use every opportunity to tell them one- to pick up on what the level of understanding is in your organization or with your customers.

Building a network of other evangelists

This especially goes for internally in companies.   Colin Foster shared this with me a while ago,  as building up a network will push the internal learning curve and ensure that you are not perceived as the lonely loony that talks new media all the time. It also has the benefit that you have more people to capture the knowledge level and attitude towards new media in your organization.

“What’s new in this for me?”

You may think this and you are probably right- these are not new tricky ways to get people’s attention.  This is good old school ways that work, with patience and persistence you start to see people move their perception towards new media.

But enough words from me, what do you do to avoid the empty eye-glaze?

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