The manner in which any communication is structured is really important. It lays the foundations upon which everything else is built. By presenting information in an easy-to-understand structure that we’re calling the SAS, you’ll see much more success. With more and more presentations happening virtually, a good structure is more important than ever.
Where to start?
Assuming you already know your topic, the Simply Amazing Structure (SAS) is how you go about planning your communication.
When you use SAS, the recipient will:
Follow what you are saying in an easy-to-digest manner.
Understand the information’s usefulness now and in the future.
Feel it is personalised, and thus be more engaged.
As a communicator, you will feel confident because you’ll:
Easily remember your flow.
Know you’ve covered all the key points.
Be ready for any questions and feedback.
Audience focussed presentations
Engagement is critical in face to face presentations and in virtual presentations it is typically even harder to achieve so needs to be designed in, not left to chance! This SAS is specifically designed to ensure the best possible engagement from your audience. It is important to realise that using the SAS forces you to think about the listener and not yourself. The structure is created from a collection of the basic questions any recipientmight have in mind:
What is being communicated? Big picture?
Why do I want to listen to this?
What facts, information and data do I need to know?
How is this relevant and significant for me, right now?
What if I want to adapt or build on this in the future in some way?
The elements of SAS
LITTLE INTRO – A short introduction; no more than a few sentences.
WHY – Give your recipient three reasons why they would want to listen/read.
WHAT – Share the actual content, facts and information. This often works well when you have one key message with three key points underneath that.
HOW – Explain how the recipient can use or action the information you have shared.
WHAT IF – This is where the recipient can ask questions, and you can reflect and wrap-up. You want to plan ahead and predict their potential questions and prepare for them appropriately.
How to use the SAS
Creating the SAS is ALWAYS an iterative process, which means that you build on it, go back and forth until it is right.
Don’t expect perfection first time – to do that will only hinder you. Just start and then improve as you move forward.
The more you plan your communication in advance and spend time considering how the recipient will digest the information, the more success you will see.
You may find yourself doing a quick SAS in 5 minutes for an informal Zoom or spend hours on a more complex communication.
Learn about the SAS in more detail in the book ‘High-Performance Presentation – How To Engage Persuade And Inspire’ by Dee Clayton
As you begin to understand the secrets of the SAS, you’ll no longer deliver unstructured, confusing communications that might not get heard or lead to re-work. Instead, you’ll experience the magic of making your communications recipient-led, easy to follow and engaging.