“I worried a lot about this” isn’t the same as “I prepared.”
today’s blog is being typed with one hand, laptop perched on the arm of a couch. our puppy, Ollie, who usually sleeps through my morning writing session, is up early today and can’t seem to settle anywhere but mostly on top of my left hip, leaning into my arm.
what to do? this is my writing hour. it will be hard to find time to make it up later.
I’m going with it.
Wow, do we like to get it right in a presentation.
Often, this looks like offering a lot of coverage of a subject. We say we’re being informative. But in this day and age, we don’t need to be informative in a presentation or talk; we have the internet for that. And more to the point, the intention to get it right is about the speaker, not the audience. The audience usually assumes that you are getting it right, so ironically, the more you insist on giving layers of detail, the more it seems like you’re working too hard.
Confident leaders aren’t afraid of getting questions, even ones they don’t know the answers to. They are nimble communicators, so they feel they can talk about a topic with the intention to engage the audience and trust that “getting it right” will take care of itself. In fact, in this case, to get it right means not the details or the data, but the connection with the people.
What are the telltale signs that we are trying to get it right? If you’re adding detail, running over your allotted time, or shoehorning more data into your talk, you’re probably trying to get it right. However, if you know exactly how you want to affect your audience, and you are ready to support that message with stories, examples, and data, you are using a deliberate, positive intention.
There’s a moment right before you say something. A moment when you’re drawing in breath to speak, when you can alter the course of what’s coming next. In that moment, where are you? What are you thinking about?
Are you two steps down the road of the discussion you’re having, trying to win an argument or prove that you’re right? Are you already conceding the point that you know you really believe in? In that moment, what do you want to happen next?
That breath, that impulse is a built-in check on your intention. What can you create if you take just that moment and decide on a deliberate path forward? What happens if you steer away from your default intention and choose something else?
What is this communication for?
What do you hope to achieve?
How do you want the person you’re talking to to feel as a result of what you say? What do you want them to do, or think?
What result are you trying to create?
This is intention. When you say what you say, what do you put into motion?
Often, however, we answer “what it’s for” with “what it’s about.” About gives us information, data, plot. It doesn’t tell us why.
An about without a for doesn’t get you very far.