The Principle of Inoculation

Psychologists call it the principle of inoculation. When there is some pre-existing issue that’s known to your audience that threatens to undermine your presentation message, address it early to defuse its impact.

Here’s one example: “Last quarter we missed an important product introduction deadline. But because we delayed introduction, we were able to create a higher-quality product that has several important features our customers desperately wanted…”

If you don’t deal with the issue directly and take a more evasive approach, you can bet someone will ask an embarrassing question during Q&A that may be your audience’s last impression. After all the hard work and preparation you put into your presentation, that’s a risk you can’t afford to take.

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