In last week’s post I talked about using a power quadrant to assess the authority of your listeners vs. the decision power they effectively have.
Unfortunately, getting decisions made is not only about bringing the people with authority and power on the same page. Some of the members of your audience may have (often unspoken) reasons to support or to thwart you, or may even have the intention to hijack your presentation.
This is where crafting an influencer quadrant often turns out useful.
It allows you to proactively identify potential advocates and opponents in the audience, and adapt your attitude, behavior and content accordingly.
- Friends: in an ideal world (which unfortunately does not exist) the room in front of you is filled only with men and women that like or respect you, your products or your company. Give them the opportunity to express their opinion and contribute to a constructive conversation.
- There may be adversaries present too. People who had a bad experience with your company or your products or have been charmed by a competitor. Always be respectful and try to convince them with arguments –hoping they will change their mind.
- Having allies in the audience is even better than having friends. As they combine a positive stance with influencing or decision power, get them involved into the discussion and let them help to prevail upon the others.
- Unfortunately, sometimes there is also this one Annoyer in the room whose intention is to spoil the meeting or hijack your presentation. Even if he is nothing but a pain in the… (fill in your favorite three or four-letter word): stay polite. Block him off when you can, but make sure that you don’t lose the support of the other people.
As a conclusion, it’s always good to think about which and why people in the room may be prejudiced, either in a positive or negative way. So make sure you know who are the friends and who are the foes, and deal with them appropriately.