What do you want them to do?

 A very common pitfall with spoken communication is that the speaker leaves the listener hanging. In other words, the speaker doesn’t specify what they would like to see happen next. Rather, they stop at the conclusion stage and assume that the listener will know what to do. Unless you state clearly what you want to occur next, you can almost assume that nothing will happen, or the wrong thing will happen.  As one of our client’s once told us: “If at the end of your presentation you don’t owe somebody something, or somebody doesn’t owe you something, then what was the point of your presentation?”

We suggest you try the “So what?” test. It’s essential that you put yourself in your listener’s shoes and ask: “So what does the speaker want me to do?” If you do this you will become much more conscious of what you’d like your listener to do and therefore you’ll state it clearly. Don’t assume that what’s obvious to you will be obvious to them.

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