We create presentations for many reasons. To move people. To sell products. To change minds.
Part of designing and delivering a great presentation comes down to understanding human needs. If you don’t know what motivates people, you might end up with a presentation that falls flat.
There are many models of human motivation which can help us explain human behavior. You’ve probably heard of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. But today we’ll look at a lesser known model and examine how we can use human motivation to create presentations that resonate with our audiences.
The CIA needs model stands for control, identity, and arousal. And each of these levels gives us important information about how we can design and deliver presentations that meet these basic human desires.
Human beings like to have the sense that they are in control. Research shows it’s essential to our well-being. But how does this relate to presentations? Here are some ways you can respect the human need for control as a public speaker:
Humans also have the need to understand who they are as it relates to their behavior. This is why self-assessment tests like the Myers-Briggs and the Enneagram are so popular. We are always trying to answer the question, “who am I?” Use these tips to help you appeal to the identity needs of your audience:
Humans want to “live deep and suck out all the marrow of life,” to quote Henry David Thoreau. This speaks to our need for arousal. Changingminds.org tells us that our “need for arousal tells us that we are learning, improving and evolving. It also helps us compete.” Arousal needs can come in many forms, but the primary three are cognitive arousal (the stimulation of learning something new), physical arousal (the challenge of pushing your body to its optimal performance), and affective arousal (the emotional response to something that moves us). In order to appeal to the audience’s need for arousal:
While developing your presentation content and your presentation media, keep these questions in mind. Have I helped to bolster my audience’s sense of control? Does my presentation appeal to their identity needs? And does my content appeal to my audience’s need to live fully and to feel alive? When you can answer yes to these questions, your content is ready to move your audience.
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