We all have them. And while these subconscious intentions are often as hidden from us than they are the people around us, they have a huge impact on how and what we communicate.
I get to see this all the time working with presenters. Some want to prove that they are the smartest person in the room. Others want to impress their boss or, more likely, their boss’ boss. Others want to show how clever they are, or how they are “one of the guys.” Many feel they are there just to deliver information, and act as though they want to get up and get it done.
These hidden agendas all have one thing in common. They ignore the audience. They leave the audience unengaged, because they are not seen and considered.
Declaring an intention makes a huge difference in the way your put your presentation together. Making your audience the focus of that intention can transform the way you approach your presentation. It is as simple as asking yourself, “What do you want your audience to think, feel, or do after your presentation that they do not think, feel, or do now?” Once you decide on how you want to change your audience, the process of creating your presentation takes on a new life and so will the way you deliver it.
As a coach, it’s been extraordinary to see what happens when presenters commit to making it all about their audience. They often find themselves more engaged in the process and more enlivened presenting. They also discover their hidden agenda as it rears up in response to their conscious intention. Once seen, they can become free of them... at least some of the time.
Some people even begin to see their hidden agendas in relation to communicating in smaller groups and one on one. Then they begin to recognize the potential within each interaction.
When that happens, their ability to communicate takes on a whole new life...intentionally.