With regards to our team presentation today, group A1, for Waveriders; we feel that we did consistently make a conscious effort, when trying to link theory with practice. We feel that we paid attention to the inconsistencies and conflicts that exist between the directors. And we acknowledged that it is vitally important that these inconsistencies first need to be clarified; before any attempts for future success can stand a chance when being implemented.
As consultants we believe that 80% of consulting has more to do with the psychological and human factor, and 20% has to do with the tools. Tools are important, but if you can’t get people to want to work collaboratively together, then they simply don’t stand as a good a chance. (Even in the EFQM, Leadership, is the first box, that’s where everything starts). In any case, despite holding these strong beliefs, we are still novices, and we made the mistake of focusing too much on the details of the individual tools, which in effect did not leave us enough time to make the obvious link between Asset Management, Knowledge Management, and how these philosophies can help Waveriders achieve the requirement of the EFQM criteria.
Upon reflecting, my personal belief is, and I believe that my teammates will agree with me; is that we should have tried to ask ourselves more clear questions. What is our Information System like? Do we collect data? Do we store it? Do we analyze it? Do we have knowledge of our customers’ perceptions? How quick can we respond? How can Life Cycle Management actually allow us to improve our discounting methods?... We could of focused less on the technical aspects, as at the end of the day the directors are not really interested in how they work, but instead what they can do for Waveriders, and what they require in order to work. So we need to focus our attention more on the actual solutions that Asset Management and Knowledge Management can offer; explain what they need, and the long-term intangible benefit.
Furthermore, we need to improve on the finishing touches of our presentation. We need to (in the future) create a clear introduction, instead of rapidly changing slides, loaded with information rich content; and then link each slide nicely with the next, in order for it to be a smooth flow for the audience, and then finally wrap it up nicely in the end. So basically we need to tell our audience what we are going to talk about, then talk about it, and then tell them what we told them. It helps information sink in. And it must be done in a simple, non-technical language; because at the end of the day the directors do not care about the technical details, they just want to know what the tools can achieve, and what it takes to achieve the required results. So our ‘job’ mainly entails convincing our audience; and thus we need to highlight the importance of a wholehearted and widespread adoption, the long-term view, the intangible benefits, and of course the monetary prospects.
One final point I have thought about, is that since English is not our first language, we need to make a conscious effort in coloring our voice; otherwise it can sound a bit monotonous. And when trying to engage with the audience, one way of doing that is by coloring our voices, and giving more emphasis to certain parts, in order to highlight them. Eye contact is imperative. So the better we know our material, the more we can catch our audiences eye, and keep them engaged. And we must remember that when presenting to our audience, we do find that inevitably our pace will become slower; because we are talking to people that need time to digest information which is new to them. We must try and put ourselves in their shoes and objectively examine if we are actually good at selling these concepts. And if not, what can we improve? Of course every audience is different, and no one person is the same. With time we will learn to adjust depending on the circumstances. But I believe that some things are a constant; such as positivity, being knowledgeable, having faith in the tools we use, simplifying the technical language and how they can translate into business benefit, clear links/smooth flowing, and finally body language when engaging with our audience.
Despite having a lot to improve on, we must keep in mind that we have all significantly improved in the last few weeks, so Good Work everyone!, and I wish you all the best!