Plan For Great Communication
Only the gifted few can walk into a meeting, presentation, or conversation, wing it, and communicate powerfully and prolifically.
I work with several leaders who are considered gifted in this way by their colleagues. But the truth is, they don’t wing it. They can expand upon their ideas naturally while speaking, but they have often thought out what they want to convey.
People expect to hear refined thoughts from executives, and if you aren’t prepared, having clarified your message, your words won’t have the impact you wish. It just isn’t effective to bounce from meeting to meeting without some time to think and prepare.
Here are some tips for getting your key ideas ready for your next meeting:
- Carve out time. Take even 10 minutes before a meeting to ask yourself, “What do I want to communicate most in this meeting?” This will prime you for the discussion and allow you to formulate your thoughts.
- Don’t think out loud. This results in a lot of words without a lot of meaning. Most business meetings are not an opportunity to think out loud, they are the time to succinctly articulate your points.
- Drive precision. Refine the ideas you need to convey in the meeting. While many leaders address the necessary points in meetings, they are often buried in context, detail, considerations, and different opinions. As an executive, it’s not good enough to hope everyone gets what you mean. You must be deliberate.
Consider what captures the essence of an idea before explaining it to others. This will improve your ability to speak to your opinions, intentions, and ideas. And doing this consistently requires some preparation and practice – if you really want to be good at it.