Have you ever been asked to make a presentation to a group of peers? Usually such a request is for the group to gain knowledge or insight that will benefit those in attendance. It’s not a lecture but an information sharing session during which the listeners are either fully engaged or absolutely bored. They are attending a conference of sorts at the request of their bosses to learn new and more productive methods in their work, or they are the bosses thinking they need a different perspective on their business practices.
It was many years ago when a request came for a sales presentation. The subject could be just sales, or sales and service, or how to overcome objections in the process of selling, servicing, or troubleshooting. The speech was to be made to an audience of businesses in competition with each other. They loved to go to meetings together but not share secrets. The request was granted. The conference was a combination of owners, sales managers, salesmen, customer service agents and other company personnel. At the appointed time, with a thick folder of pages (which looked like a speech) in hand, there stood the lecturer—me—behind the podium.
The folder was opened to page one, voices were cleared and the room fell silent. “Today the topic is…” the speech started. Then, abruptly, the folder was closed, and, “Let’s forget that a moment and ask a general question of the audience. Would someone, anyone, in this audience please offer a problem that's been tough to solve? It could be a sales problem such as closing the sale, or a service issue. Anything?” The room remained quiet for what seemed like many minutes but, in a few seconds, one man raised his hand. He was asked to state the issue.
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legerity (noun) [luh-jer-i-tee] physical or mental quickness; nimbleness; agility