[copperpress-advertserve-ad-reload zone="3"]
 June 18, 1999

careers and education Turn on the preparation lights when you request a solid presentation

LEADER’S EDGE

Four production employees tiptoed into the management staff meeting as if entering an angry principals office. They hadn’t done anything wrong, however. Instead, they were right on time to give a brief presentation at the meeting.

The top manager asked the group to begin. The foursome looked at each other as if it were the first time they had considered who should go first. Finally, one young man trudged to the front of the room and began his presentation by saying, “I’m not sure what you want but ä”

His three cohorts also began their respective presentations with similar words. It is not the first time I’ve seen such confusion when “outsiders” come into a staff meeting.

What we have here, to borrow a famous phrase from the ’60s movie “Cool Hand Luke,” is a failure to communicate. If you intend to bring someone in to speak, I suggest having a conversation to discuss strategy at the time of the request.

To get the ball rolling, I suggest you send a written document to help the person effectively prepare to give the right presentation. That document, which I title “Request to Present,” allows you, the manager host, to give the speaker(s) key, strategic information related to those favorite journalism words: who, what, when, where, why and how.

Who — I need the following person/people to present to my staff. This is where you list the names of the person or people you want to attend.

Why — The reason we want to hear from you is because ä This is where you provide your specific reasons for wanting the specific speaker(s) listed above.

What —

1. Specifically, what we want to hear about is ä This is where you point the speaker(s) in the right direction. Don’t just ask them to speak about the XYZ project, but say something such as the desire to hear about why the XYZ project will greatly enhance the organization’s overall on-time-delivery (OTD) efforts.

2. My desired result from you speaking is ä This is where you present your ultimate goal for their presentation. For example, it might be that you want the production supervisors to give the necessary support for you to complete the project because of its potential OTD benefits.

3. What you (and/or the group of speakers) want from us (the management staff) regarding this topic is ä This is where you encourage the outside speaker(s) to strategically think about what they can gain from their appearance.

How —

1. What audio visual aids do you need or want?

2. What material might you send out beforehand?

3. What other requests do you have for enhancing your presentation? This is where you encourage them to creatively consider the most-effective ways to present the material to everyone’s satisfaction regarding the discussion of this topic.

When & Where — Note the time allotted for the presentation (2 to 2:20 p.m., for example), as well as the exact location of the meeting.

By offering your strategic thoughts and requests beforehand, and allowing them to develop their own tactics, you greatly enhance the odds of an excellent presentation.

You can also use the same document when someone asks you to speak elsewhere. Send them a blank copy and let your host fill in the blanks for you. My guess is you will surprise and please them because it proves you take the assignment seriously and want to present the information effectively.

I’m beginning a series of business trips to promote my first book. I learned after the first couple of trips planned by my publisher that I need to be more proactive in preparing my hosts to create the best possible use of my time. So I have sent all my future hosts a document that, in a friendly way, presents my guidelines and requests for the trip.

I include everything from wanting a window seat on the plane and nonsmoking hotel rooms to the kind of room set-up and microphone desired for my presentations. This document explains what I do and do not want regarding media coverage.

Don’t just assume everything will fall into place, whether you are the host or the speaker. By creating a strategic dialogue beforehand, you figuratively flip on the communication lights, helping prevent presentations prepared in the dark.

To find out more about Gregg Piburn and Leaders Edge Consulting Inc.,

call (970) 669-0750 or visit www.LeadersEdgeConsulting and www.BeyondChaos.com.

LEADER’S EDGE

Four production employees tiptoed into the management staff meeting as if entering an angry principals office. They hadn’t done anything wrong, however. Instead, they were right on time to give a brief presentation at the meeting.

The top manager asked the group to begin. The foursome looked at each other as if it were the first time they had considered who should go first. Finally, one young man trudged to the front of the room and began his presentation by saying, “I’m not sure what you want but ä”

His three cohorts also began their respective presentations with similar words. It…

[copperpress-advertserve-ad-reload zone="3"]

Related Content

[copperpress-advertserve-ad-interstitial zone="30"]