Last week I wrote several posts on Power Point. Here are some thoughts on White boarding: I love the white board. Unlike Power Point, white boards allow for collaborative thinking. I remember one of my sales managers coming back from an appointment with great excitement, recounting how he and a perspective client had been up at the white board together, adding to a diagram, interactively creating the solution to a problem they were having. They went from one-way broadcasting to collaborative brainstorming.
Earlier in my career I came up with a powerful story I now refer to as The House & the Cloud ( the Title of my first book). Every time I was called upon to share my team’s progress with partners or management, I used the House & the Cloud. It became a brand over time. People in other regions who had never met me, began referring to me as The Guy with the House! This is what you want; a personal brand or a signature story. It won’t happen over night, but as you begin thinking about it, using illustrations on your sales calls, and reviewing the results, your story will evolve over time. As it grows, don’t be surprised if people are wanting to meet with you just to hear about your “House”.
Start here. Learn the presentation you meant to give in Power Point, strip out the boring statistics, and recreate the message using a more informal white-boarding style. Look for ways to make your sales story interesting and compelling. There is something powerful about watching someone draw. If you have ever seen a speaker use chalk drawings to illustrate their message, you know what I mean. If not, check YouTube.
Creating knowledge gaps, interrupting ones thinking, and by filling in the blanks in an interactive drawing session, you can magnify the energy in the room, drawing people into your story as you unfold it. This takes preparation, creativity, and practice. But once again, it is not something people are just born with. Anyone can do it. It just takes some upfront planning and practice. Start thinking through your presentation. How can you make it great? How can you create a story that can be told through pictures and colors, in fifteen minutes, using a white board diagram?
© 2011, David Stelzl