The good thing with marketing people is that they will always try to pass their messages in the best, sweetest possible way.
I often give feedback on presentation techniques given by engineers.
How do you understand what’s really behind the words of a marketeer?
Here’s a few tips on how to interpret those words:
1) “You were perfect.”
- I did not watch the presentation.
- I fell asleep and I am hungry now.
-Just go away.
Slide 15, just put the scale.
I feel it would be easier to understand the message.
Otherwise, really good.”
-I woke up at slide 15, noticed something I could bitch about, went back into trance-mode.
You really go into details to give us the full picture.”
-You lost us in the first minute when you’ve shown a math formula on a slide. A MATH FORMULA on a slide! You should be shot. Don’t use presentations like crutches.
I could go on forever on the subtle back-handed compliments that could spice the days in a cubicle, but just let me tell you about a specific technique.
The shit sandwich.
Imagine you have to pass a message. Imagine it is absolutely bad. It is basically an insult to your audience.
The shit sandwich.
Just sandwich your insult between two compliments. It will go through like a charm.
4) “The presentation had no spelling mistakes in there and the grammar was impeccable.
Your presentation is an insult to the audience intelligence and we all think you’re a fraud.
I like your tie, is it made of silk?”
Notice how the insultee will be taken off guard following a compliment… Right time to push in for the insult.
Then another compliment will ease the pill, and a question will immediately prompt a response on the compliment – not allowing to react on the insult.
As a funny anecdote, I heard this technique was also called “Praise Burger” which gives it a really nice name for such a devious technique.