schoolboyThis is first in a series of a stripped-out approach to communication skills at work, looking at what’s critical. The advice is based on practical experience building engagement, dynamism and impact – and also on interesting insights from academia.

You can use these guidelines with large audiences, small meetings and 1-2-1, and they will help you prepare fast – and without fuss.

Your Research

Let’s leap right in and ask yourself:

What is the subject you are addressing? ( should be short and succinct)

Who is the audience? ( backgrounds, needs, concerns)

What do you want them to think, feel, say and do as a result of your presentation?

What is the long term impression you wish to make on them, if any?

Where you’ve the luxury of time for preparation, allocate the largest amount to finding out about your audience – what their reputations are, the type of decisions they’ve made in the past and what their pet themes are.

Your Format

My favourite image for useful structure is a tomato sandwich.

fuss free format

At the outset, this gives a reason for your case, and benefits and threats for your audience. Then, at maximum 5 pieces of evidence/illustration/scenarios to build your case, followed by a sign off, repeating your position at the start, and including any action you require.

Or to simplify even further: hook the audience, give them evidence, suggest action.

There you go: fuss free, I hope you agree.

In the next few weeks we’ll be covering delivery, impact, handling nerves, use of visuals, interactivity. If you’ve a specific query, please let me know here or on twitter@mrsmoti.

Next-Fuss Free Interviews 1: Your Preparation.


Join the conversation! 4 Comments

  1. I will be trying this technique out next week, I have to try to persuade the local environment group to abandon the plan that we have that is getting us no where, and has no local interest, in favour of a plan that has lots of wins for the group and the community…. I can see all the benefits of it, including jobs, money and almost immediate action, but will I be able to persuade them? Hopefully using Mrs Motivator’s techniques I will be fine……fingers crossed, and tomato sandwiches all round!

    • That’s exciting Esther – please let me know how it goes… Am guessing your challenge is to come up with a couple of vivid scenarios that show the benefits and are also believable and reality based. Maybe one tomato on what’s going wrong – and two positive ones? All the very best for it.

      • Hi Mrs Moti….yes, that’s exactly my challenge! I think I can rise to the challenge, and with the structured format you have provided I should be able to keep my eternally wandering mind focussed! I will let you know how it goes, and also if I manage to make it to Green Man….

  2. […] Then when you turn up in front of us, we’ll sense ‘This person has come here with a mission and has humanity we connect to’. To prepare, you won’t have gone far wrong with the Engage, Inform, Action formula described here. […]


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