How Communication is like Football

With the Super Bowl 50 coming up this weekend, I thought I would explore how throwing a football (sorry American football to soccer fans outside of North America), is like the communication process. Enjoy.

You may be the smartest salesperson in your industry. You may have a great product, and your product knowledge may be outstanding, but if you can’t communicate this to your customers in an easily digestible manner, you won’t be very successful.

“The thinking human being, not able to express himself, stands at the same level as those who cannot think.” Pericles

Communication is vital!

Denver Broncos vs Carolina+Panthers

One way to think about the process of effectively communicating with someone, is to think about Football.

So how are Football and Communications alike?

  • The quarterback is the sender of the message
  • The football is the message
  • The pass is the medium (or delivery mechanism) of the message
  • The defence, the crowd noise, the cute cheerleaders,  the sun (or stadium lights) in the receiver’s eyes are the barriers that get in the way of the message being delivered
  • The Wide Receiver receives the message.
  • What the Wide Receiver does after catching the ball provides feedback

In football, you can have a quarterback (Peyton Manning / Cam Newton) who can throw the ball 60 yards down the field, but if the receiver doesn’t catch the ball, the team doesn’t advance.

While communicating, if the message is delivered, but not received as intended, communication breaks down and the relationship doesn’t advance.

“The only way he could have said less would have been to talk longer.” Charles Jarvis

Seven key ways to improve your communication with your customers are:

  1. Reduce technical jargon
  2. Unless you are 100% sure they know what the acronyms mean, use the long forms (i.e. C.P.S.A – Canadian Professional Sales Association , N.S.A -National Speakers Association or N.F.L – National Football League)
  3. Get to the point quicker
  4. Tell a (short) story that makes your point
  5. Try to reduce distractions (i.e. noise in a crowded room)
  6. Check for understanding
  7. Use analogies that they are likely to understand (i.e. Communication is like Football)

So next time you are want to communicate think of football because it can help you score with your customers or anyone you want to connect with.

 

 

An Element of Luck

Bart Starr Touchdown

“Luck favours the persistent.” Jim Collins/Jerry Parros, Authors, Built to Last (Successful Habits of Visionary Companies)

How to Call an Audible during your Presentation

from Dave Paradi @ http://www.thinkoutsidetheslide.com Dave, the author of “The Visual Slide Revolution, is a master at teaching people how to make their PowerPoint presentations more interesting…and effective.

Call an audible during your presentation  

On Sunday I was watching the AFC Championship game between the Indianapolis Colts and the New York Jets. Even if you are not a football fan, stick with me on this one. I like watching top performers in their fields and in this case I got to watch Peyton Manning, one of the best quarterbacks in football. He is this year’s Most Valuable Player in the NFL.

One thing he does better than any other quarterback is change the play at the line of scrimmage based on what he sees the defence doing. Often, he will line up, call some signals and see how the defence reacts. Then he steps back, decides what changes he wants to make, and runs the play. In football, changing the play at the line of scrimmage is known as calling an audible, meaning the play is changed using an audible signal, not with gestures.

Now this only works because his team has prepared in advance for what he will do. They know the different plays he may end up calling and are prepared for the many possibilities. They adjust based on what the opponent is doing.

So how does this relate to presenting?

The lesson for presenters is to be prepared to call an audible during your next presentation based on the reaction of the audience. Start with your prepared presentation, but if the audience is not reacting the way you expect them to, be prepared to step back and change what you are doing. How can you do this? Here are three ways to call an audible during a presentation.

First, you can anticipate this happening and plan for this in advance by designing a non-linear presentation. Design in modules and ask the audience to direct the sequence of the presentation.

Second, when you realize the audience is not reacting the way they should, press the “B” key on your keyboard to blank the screen. Ask a question of the audience to start a discussion. By engaging them, you will discover what they are thinking and be able to adjust as necessary.

To view Dave’s third (and my favorite tip) along with the rest of the article click here: http://pptideas.blogspot.com/2010/01/call-audible-during-your-presentation.html