Like a shot in the dark, communication without aim rarely hits its mark. Personalized communication and marketing allow us to provide better content and service to those we are trying to reach. And as we talked about in our last post, we’ve come to expect that companies will know us and tailor content to our needs. Personalization is the key to effectiveness.

Today, we are continuing our discussion of personalization. We’ll look at why names are so powerful along with a few tips you can use to personalize your presentation.

The Power of a Name

Personalized communication produces impressive results. Personalized emails lead to six times higher transaction rates and personalized web experiences increase business sales by 19%. In today’s day and age, we’ve come not only to expect that companies tailor content to us, but also that they know our names. One of the easiest ways to spot a fake email or phishing attempt is when you get communication from a company you interact with, and they don’t use your name.

Dale Carnegie said, “A person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” Because of this, Carnegie came up with the LIRA formula to help remember someone’s name:

  • Look and Listen: Pay careful attention when the person is speaking.
  • Impression: Create an impression of the moment by implanting a picture in your brain.
  • Repetition: Repeat the person’s name in the conversation, when saying goodbye, and then afterward to yourself to help you remember it.
  • Association: Think of something strange that can help to cement that person’s name in your brain. When it comes to remembering, the weirder it is, the better you’ll remember it. For example, if you meet someone named Steve, imagine him struggling to hold a large stove while talking to you. The word “stove” is close enough to Steve that the strange image should trigger you to remember his name next time.

We love to hear our own names, That’s why personalization is so effective. So all of us, no matter what line of work we are in, should learn the names of the people we are interacting with, and should use them as often as possible.

Personalized Presentations

Ethos3 is a presentation design agency, so you may be wondering how personalization fits in with the art of presenting. Well, it’s along the lines of one of the oldest concepts in the field: audience analysis. Audience analysis aims to know who you’ll be speaking to so that you can tailor your message to them. Here are a few tips to help you personalize your presentations:

  • Promote ownership: My girls and I were on a road trip when we stopped off at a gas station to fill up. A country music artist happened to be filming a music video there. As part of the video, he was letting fans sign their names on the inside of his van door. My girls were excited to later watch the video and to look for their names on the door. All presenters should look for ways to let your audience write their names on the door of your presentation. Since most people love seeing their names and their images, creating opportunities for photo opps or social media posts or even giving them something to sign helps your audience to feel a sense of ownership in the presentation.
  • Speak Their Language: If you present at different companies, spend some time getting to know that company culture and then align your content to it. For example, you might spend some time reading that company’s website. What words or phrases do they use often? Can you adapt those to work in your presentation so that your language feels comfortable and familiar? Or if the company has a strong brand color, it probably creates a sense of home team pride in the employees much like team sports colors do. You might consider tapping into those colors in your presentation media or marketing so that your audience feels like you are one of them from the outset.
  • Be Conversational: When you interact with one person, hopefully you learn and use that person’s name. It should be the same for your audience. If you travel and speak a lot, it can get tempting to fall into a one-size-fits-all presentation. You forget what city you are in. You don’t know what company or school you are speaking at. It stops mattering. You just deliver the same message no matter where you are or who you are with. But this isn’t how conversation works. Keep the rules of conversation in play no matter how many people you are talking to. Personalize your message.

The more you aim for personalization, the more your audience will feel valued and respected. And the more effective your communication, company, product, or presentation will be. That’s what we call a win-win.

Ethos3 has a full line of presentation training and design services available. But we need to know a little bit more about you and your needs first.


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