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Spoiler alert – this Tip is obvious

Tags: Be interesting | Presentations | Meetings | Impact | Save time | Influencing

13th September

As you read it, you’ll think “This is obvious”.

But the question is:

Do you always do this obvious thing?

Let’s see…

When someone asks you to prepare a communication for them – for instance:

  1. A boss asks for a presentation, update or document
  2. A customer asks for a proposal or presentation
  3. A colleague asks you to send some info to them
  4. Etc…

…the best way to give them exactly what they want, is to ask them exactly what they want!

So ask questions like:

  1. What are the main topics you want me to include? (your aim: you want to agree the skeleton layout of your communication)
  2. What content do you specifically not want in there?
  3. What format would you like it in? PowerPoint? Document? Something else?
  4. Approximately how long do you want it to be?

Once you’ve agreed these, the benefits are enormous:

  1. You’ll find it easier to prepare something that impresses them
  2. They’ll get exactly what they need
  3. It’s more likely to be right first time
  4. Huge time-savings
  5. You’ll feel more confident when you give it to them
  6. They’re already more likely to buy-in to what you say – because you’re saying the things they want you to say!

I imagine that you’re now thinking “Andy – this is soooooo obvious”.

But the question is: yes, but do you do it?

Action Point

What’s the next important communication that someone’s asked you to prepare for them?

Have you agreed the content yet?

If not, ask them the questions above.

Easy. Obvious. Valuable.

Of course, if they say, ‘use whatever format you like’, there are lots of best-practice templates here.