Getting Over Yourself

July 12, 2012

“I’m leaving. You give my report.”

Five minutes before the meeting your boss says, “I’ve got to go to another meeting. Here, you give my report.”

It’s unnerving, and not really fair, but you’re stuck. You may be frustrated, nervous, angry, confused, discombobulated. Maybe the good news is you don’t have long to feel that way; it’ll soon be over.

In the long run, maybe you could have a talk with the boss about a simpler way to handle it. In the short run: focus.

As always, my advice is, “When in doubt, pause.” The next thing is to ask questions. You don’t have much time, but you still need to know who your audience is and the expected outcome. So focus on what you know about the group and why they’re attending the meeting as well as their usual responsibilities, and ask your “benefactor” for the purpose of the report. Knowing what direction you’re supposed to go and what outcome you’re looking for should help you get through it in one piece.

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July 5, 2012

Bore your audience and forget about passing “Go”

If you’ve ever tried to sneak out of a boring presentation, that should motivate you to make sure you’re not boring your audience. And it starts with you. If you think your subject is boring, there’s no way you can inspire your audience or energize them.

For instance, if you’re giving a report that you consider routine, unnecessary, redundant, you’ve set the tone: it will be boring. Bored presenter = bored audience. No way around it.

Start by seeing how you can avoid doing it “the way it’s always been done” — and still be appropriate.

For instance: Identify something about the subject that you find interesting; look for a link to a current hot topic; instead of thinking it’s a report you have to give, consider how it affects your audience.

You’re the one who decides whether or not you’re bored. Make the right choice and you’ll not only pass GO — you’ll collect your $200. Or more.

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