Having a "You Orientation"

Over the years, I've taken (and given) any number of training courses on presentation skills. But the one that I thought was the best was created and taught by a NJ-based businessman, author, song writer, and trainer named Robert "Bob" Max.

After a successful career, Bob started his own training company and specialized in teaching business writing and presentation skills to corporate audiences: salespeople, scientists, engineers, managers and administrative professionals.

One of the secrets to excellence in presentations is a concept of Bob's that he called "you orientation." Having a You Orientation means that you are audience-centered in your approach to the presentation you are getting ready to give. And, when you get up to deliver the presentation, having a You Orientation means that you stay audience-focused throughout the delivery.

In the years since I took Bob's course, I have often recalled and applied this idea. It's one of those simple yet powerful frames that can really make a big difference in what you are trying to accomplish.

For example, let's apply it to job hunting.

In a job hunt, the job seeker is by definition extremely Me Oriented. But to make progress, she has to develop a complementary You Orientation.

~ The Me Orientation helps the job hunter get clear about her Objective, her skills and accomplishments, and her values and interests.

~ The You Orientation helps the job hunter to research the Target Companies that she has identified; to build a mutually beneficial network with others in order to get information, advice, and referrals; and to ask questions of hiring managers that elicit the goals and needs of the organization.

The most effective tool in the You Orientation is the "you question;" for example:

- What are you looking for?
- What are your goals?
- What advice would you give me?
- Who else would you recommend I speak to?
- How can I help you?

Posted by Terrence Seamon, July 4, 2009

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