Executive Communication Expert Dianna Booher
No one wants to be accused of doing a data dump as a presenter. Neither do they want to turn in a book report when they propose a new strategic plan to executive management or, worse, when they write a sales proposal. Instead, they hope to be persuasive – to build a strong case for their idea or plan.
But in the process of trying to put their best persuasive spin on a presentation or document, sometimes they move too fast and fall into a quagmire of faulty reasoning.
Let me mention some common reasoning errors that you may want to check for in your own presentations and documents:
Force fitting an analogy: You use an analogy to explain how two things are alike—and then get carried away. Maybe you say: “A maintenance agreement on our copier is like an insurance policy on our automobile.”
Yes, there are similarities that would help someone understand the idea of a prepaid maintenance agreement, but it doesn’t follow that the two arrangements are alike in ALL ways. Insisting that they are in order to make a point is faulty reasoning.
Generalizing from a single case: Your sales manager in Tupelo feels uninformed by headquarters about the introduction of new company products and marketing campaigns. Therefore, you reason and communicate to headquarters that ALL sales managers feel uninformed on important new developments. Again, faulty reasoning that will chip away at your credibility.
Focusing on all or nothing: You consider all ideas as a package deal. You attempt to persuade your audience or readers that they have to accept ALL of what you have to say … or none of what you have to say. You continue to insist that Product X will meet either all your organizationís needs …. or none of your needs. You insist that your division will have to reward EVERY intern with perfect attendance every yearó–or no one for perfect attendance.
© Copyright, Booher Consultants, Inc. All Rights Reserved.