On the importance of adapting your material to your audience’s logic: deductive VS inductive cultures in presentations and training

When working with applications-first people (US, UK):

  • Presentations: Make your arguments effectively by getting right to the point. Stick to concrete examples, tools and next steps. Spend relatively little time building up the theory or concept behind your arguments. You’ll need less time for conceptual debate.
  • Persuading others: Provide practical examples of how it worked elsewhere.
  • Providing Instructions: Focus on the how more than the why.

When working with principles-first people (Latin & Germanic countries):

  • Presentations: Make your argument effectively by explaining and validating the concept underlying your reasoning before coming to conclusions and examples. Leave enough time for challenge and debate of the underlying concepts. Training sessions may take longer.
  • Persuading others: Provide background principles and welcome debate.
  • Providing Instructions: Explain why, not just how.

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