Everyone’s focused…but on what?

Monday, November 22nd, 2010 by Simon Morton

Presentations reflect life in so many ways…

Thrashing around blindly is no way to live your life…and much the same can be said for presentations.  Let me explain…

I'm a CelebrityI’m not a reality show fan yet, based on the conversations that bounce around the office and studio here at Eyeful Towers, I am in a minority of one.

Despite my reservations, I am aware that there was once a word of truth spoken in the Australian jungle. The man speaking it was one John Fashanu and the word was “Focus”.  He was clearly a man who knew how to direct his own skills and overcame many of his fears with his one word mantra.

The glaringly obvious omission, at least from what he said but probably not from what he thought, was what to focus on.

As with all good advice, it sounds obvious.  If you’re a car manufacturer and you’re focusing on the paint being the right colour you might be off the mark slightly.  If you’re a software developer and you’re focusing on how cool your website looks, you unlikely to end up with many repeat customers if the quality of service is allowed to slip.

These are all blindingly obvious examples and we’d all hope none of them true.

But typically where this becomes a problem is over more subtle differences.  For example, a few months ago Toyota admitted they’d focused purely on cost saving and not on car safety.  The end result was a massive issue.

Going even further back Enron focussed on shareholder comfort ahead of financial probity – and many other companies have followed.

Focusing on the right things is sometimes pretty difficult – but realising what you are focusing on and then spending the time to ensure it’s the right thing is a darn good start.  The focus of your next presentation should be on the change in behaviour you are looking to spark within your audience NOT the design of the slide or the fancy transition you’ve just found in PowerPoint 2010.

That’s the true value of focus…

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