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UPS drivers aren’t the only ones who deliver the “goods”

Communication comes in many forms: Verbal, Pictorial, Written, Body Language. All of which are critical when seeking to “get your message across”. How many meetings or presentations have you sat through where the speaker doesn’t connect with the audience and sadly, the well-intentioned message doesn’t make the leap from speaker to where you sat? How do you avoid this from happening to your next presentation?

In a word, “Integration”. When it’s your turn to stand in front of an audience and deliver a message, remember to “Integrate” these forms to create a cohesive moment between you and your audience. If in doubt of what this looks like – go watch some TED talks for inspiration.

I recently sat through a significant number of back to back presentations – from multiple presenters on multiple topics; summations, action plans, goal forecasting, and everything in-between. There was a range of what I would call, delivery success. Delivery success, to my way of thinking, is when your message connects with the audience in the way you intended. The audience walks out of the room owning your message. Think of it this way. You’re the UPS driver. The package is the message. The homeowner is your audience. When you ring the doorbell, the homeowner signs for the delivery. The homeowner now has the package and uses it. They own it. Transaction complete. Successful transfer.

Public speaking ranks up there in the top 10 fears for many people. Most of us would rather deliver one on one messages than to have to stand in the front of the room. As business leaders, a key deliverable of your job is to give presentations that, like the UPS driver, delivers the message safe and sound. And how you choose to integrate the Verbal, Pictorial, Written, and Body Language can make the difference in your ability to bring business success.

Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing some key components in ensuring delivery success in a presentation.

1. Know what message you want to deliver.
2. Don’t assume everyone knows what you know.
3. Use your limited time well.
4. Incorporate pictures that are worth a thousand words, not a thousand questions.
5. Manage your audience’s interpretation to ensure your message is heard.

Be intentional

10 Jedi Knight techniques to save your meeting


If this guy invited you to his meeting, I think it prudent to ask for the expected outcome in advance. Just saying…

Wow – my informal survey shows there’s a lot of strong opinions about meetings. Everyone’s been to “that meeting” organized by “that guy/gal”. There is a “force” and it isn’t with you. It’s the kind of meeting where you leave with less information than you had walking in the door.

If only you could get the last hour of your life back you think to yourself. There is a way. In fact, based on your input, I would propose there are 10 ways. 10 logical approaches to improve your meetings and help influence your immediate culture (i.e., respect, communication, team work, execution, to name a few). They are almost too logical, simple even, yet you don’t have to be a Jedi Knight to do start doing them.

  1. Before organizing a meeting – determine what you want from the meeting (information collected, information given, discussion/work, other). If you do not know what you want from the meeting, no one else will either
  2. Invite only those that are necessary to meet the objective of the meeting – less can be more
  3. Schedule meetings in open calendar spaces (Do not create intentional conflicts!). If you have to schedule over something, let the person with the conflict know why you had to create the conflict AND why they are needed in your meeting over another meeting
  4. Start the meeting with the purpose/objective – end the meeting with a summary indicating if the objective was met and what the next steps are
  5. If you do not think you need to go to a meeting, ask the organizer why you were invited. If there is not a good reason, decline to go
  6. If you can’t make a meeting, let the organizer know you can’t make it and why. Or, send a representative
  7. In the Outlook meeting notice: include an agenda and the expectation of the meeting
  8. When you are seeking information in the meeting – give people a heads up so they can come prepared
  9. If it is a cross-functional formal meeting, put out meeting notes – especially if decisions were made, or actions were requested
  10. Realize any gathering of two people is a meeting. Meetings are not bad if true communication is made

Let me know if any of these work for you or if you have more suggestions.

kind regards,