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#416: Animate Your Way to Clearer Client Understanding

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Monday, October 18, 2010
Updated: Monday, October 18, 2010
I am looking for a more effective way to get complex ideas and conclusions across to my clients. Simple may be understandable but doesn't provide enough content. Complex is sufficient but overwhelms the listener. I'd like to include things like narrative, storytelling, and media to provide a richer experience without the cost of a media show, which the client would likely see as over the top. Is there a middle ground?

One of a consultant's main obligations to the client is to make sure the client understands the rich details of the findings and recommendations. It is not enough to dazzle them with your brilliance if they don't get your point or get too much to remember. As long as you can justify it for the purpose of understanding, using whatever media you can to accommodate different learning styles of your audience is not over the top.

Also consider both the immediate and residual learning opportunities of getting your point across. Your client doesn't have to swallow your content all in one bite, or at one sitting. Some consultants think the "final briefing" should be a fusillade of content, delivering everything we have accumulated and generated. It doesn't have to be. If the goal is understanding, consider the delivery like serving a meal - in courses, at a comfortable pace. Also, make sure that the materials you leave behind can be referenced to support your presentation and provide additional details as needed.

Tip: Even if you deliver work products in small pieces, there is still the issue of having them remember. Spend some time looking at the way RSA Animate to see how effective animated storytelling can be to get across complex ideas. After watching this, you will agree that this has some interesting applications for consultants to deliver a memorable and compelling briefing "experience." (There are several of these superb conceptual briefing animations available).

© 2010 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  communication  customer understanding  innovation  presentations 

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