Create a Good Impression – The Benefits of Structure

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Good ImpressionLast time, we introduced the concept of structure to create that all important good impression. But it also has other significant benefits. For one, it forces focus, and focus is the soul of brevity. In today’s world of information overload, ‘fat-free’ information is ‘in’. Less is more. For another, structure supports persuasion. Organised information is more memorable. So, when what others have said is long-forgotten, your message continues to remind and persuade. Moreover, structure carries thinking forward, as in the ‘trick’ above. To move someone’s thinking is to persuade them. The notion ‘to be moved’ takes on a new meaning with this in mind. Thus, clarity, brevity and impact—all via structure. The good news is that we can all learn the skill of quickly structuring our thinking. Indeed, the basis of these ideas has been around a long time….

Philosopher as Inspiration

One influential advocate of structure was the 17th century French philosopher Rene Descartes. He is the author of the best-known one-liner in all of philosophy, “I think therefore I am”. He also outlined, in his Discourse on Method, how to present arguments clearly and persuasively. His recommendations in summary:
  • Get to the core of your ideas (cut the fat?)
  • Break your argument into a few easy-to-follow steps (structure?)
  • Build in some forward movement (to move minds?)
Distinguished Canadian academic and media expert, Dr. Keith Spicer, used these recommendations (and those of other great thinkers) as the basis for his Think on Your Feet ® method. According to Dr. Spicer, “You can’t speak (or write) straight unless you can think straight. And clear, coherent thinking demands not so much genius – as (you guessed it) structure”. The emphasis on structure is what makes the Think on Your Feet ® method unique.

Make a good impression

Dr. Spicer was also familiar with modern brain research. He recognised that while ‘structure’ is essentially a left-brain notion, the secret of improvisation is to release right brain creativity. As it happens, left-brain structure provides the framework for organised improvisation – much like a repertoire of chords supports the improvisation of a musician. The result of Spicer’s insights was a new, but eminently practical, approach to clarity and persuasion: an effective way of assembling your ideas quickly and getting them across. Dianne Dromgold, Commercial Director for Hyperion, a software company, said: “I have been able to speak in many areas of the world and secured positions I would have been unable to contemplate before attending a Think on Your Feet® workshop.”. Dromgold is one of the 50,000 people who have attended Think on Your Feet ® in more than twenty countries. To achieve this all we need to do is learn a few new thinking habits. It’s easier to make a good impression when you know how. Think On Your Feet® is a terrific 2-day workshop that will give you dynamic structures to strategically position your message giving you the spit and polish your delivery deserves. It really is the art of impromtu speaking.]]>

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