You know that adrenalin-inducing, off-to-the-races feeling right after Labor Day, with the grown-ups back at work and the kids back at school?
There’s Something About
the beginning of September. As soon as the temperature abruptly changes overnight (New England!), all the action items I’ve put off come racing back into my brain cells.
I Feel Inspired
Ahhh, the books to read, shows to see, projects to take on, sales calls to make, friends to invite to dinner. You get the picture. There is a largesse of possibility in the air. With sneakers laced up, I’m poised at the metaphorical starting line, ready to run the Fourth Quarter sprint.
But Don’t Be Fooled
Behavioral change being what it is (or isn’t), the odds are that my Big Plans won’t last. Soon it all feels like Too. Much.
Same With My Clients
Typically after coaching sessions, clients are ready to make massive changes in their presentation style. They have a list of new ideas and techniques and can’t wait to try them all. But that doesn’t usually work over the long haul. A better tactic is to commit to small steps, and then actually take them.
Low Hanging Fruit
Here are three easily-started, low point-of-entry presentation tips that pay great dividends. They will make a difference to the power of your communications and how you are perceived. Why not choose one, give it a whirl and let me know how it goes.
1) Avoid Preamble
Think of preamble as everything you say before you say what you really want to say. For example, here’s a phrase you might choose never to use again, and no one would miss it: What I am here today to talk to you about is… Instead, simply start with whatever word follows is.
2) Forget About Agendas
Unless your environment specifically requires structured agendas, my take is that nobody cares anymore. If you feel compelled to let your listeners know what to expect, try something more action-oriented.
By the time our meeting is finished in an hour, we will have reviewed the results of our recent study, covered the committee’s suggestions, and then discussed and decided on a next step.
3) Scratch Minimizer Words
I think I’d like to just quickly sort of review the results of the… kinda the survey that we did.
These words sneak into our presentations as well as our emails! Toss them out; they minimize the value of what you’re saying before you even say it. Just, quickly, think, kinda, sort of… are words that do you no favors.
May your September be a great one!