When you have meetings with managers and/or executives, stress levels can be intense. It’s easy to second guess your agenda, content and what details you should include. You may spend hours toiling over your presentation to ensure everything is just right.
Even with all of your planning and preparation, it’s not uncommon to learn that plans have changed after you arrive for your meeting.
Six Communication Skills Training Challenges
Below are suggestions to help you maintain your executive presence and get your message across, even if the executive or manager …
1. Is late: Be prepared to give a high-level overview of your topics. State that you can provide a ten-minute overview to review for today’s shortened timeframe; then arrange another time for a follow up discussion. If sufficient time is not available, reschedule the meeting.
2. Wants to multitask: It’s no secret that executives and managers have a lot of high-priority tasks to deal with. If your manager or executive is having a hard time focusing on your message, suggest that the topic warrants their full attention. If you cannot obtain their full attention, you will need to repeat yourself to have an impact. Make sure you get agreement on next steps and timeframes.
3. Shortens time available: It’s not uncommon to be given a 30-minute meeting, then when the meeting rolls around, your time is cut to ten minutes. During your preparation, you should identify parts of your presentation that you can cut. If enough time remains, go back and deliver the remaining information.
4. Interrupts constantly: State that you designed the presentation to answer questions that you anticipated the executive would ask. If you know the executive has a tendency to interrupt, make sure you lead with what is most important to them.
5. Asks questions before the presentation: State your mutual goal and that you have several solutions for them to consider. State the amount of time you need to go over your information.
6. Adds unexpected members to the audience: State that you prepared the presentation for the original audience and that the new audience members may therefore not receive the information they need. If the executive insists on adding the unexpected members, deliver the presentation as you prepared it with the understanding that you will likely need to give more information at a later time.
If you enjoyed these communication skills training tips, contact Power Presentations to hone your skills with customized communication skills training programs designed to meet your goals, timeframe and budget.
About the Sheri Jeavons
When Sheri founded Power Presentations in 1993, she had two goals in mind. The first was to empower business professionals to look and sound dynamic while communicating in any situation. The second was to deliver training that professionals would leave saying, “That was the best training I’ve ever attended. Ever.” Since then, Power Presentations has successfully trained more than 25,000 professionals from a variety of Fortune 500 Companies and industry leaders such as FedEx, Marathon Petroleum, Goodyear, Bayer and NASA.