Preparation, Preparation, Preparation


If you’ve been asked to speak to a group, you likely hold an important position in your organization, have subject matter expertise or are a practiced speaker. No matter where you fall in that spectrum, you will want to prepare for each and every presentation – even if you’ve done this speech or class 100 times before! Why? Preparation helps you work out the kinks of your presentation, ironing out words that are difficult to say, allowing you to adapt content to a specific audience, etc.


Some people prepare by writing out their speech or presentation. This is a BAD idea. If you write it out word for word, you will look and feel awkward if you lose your place or trip over your words. Instead, prepare a detailed outline – with ideas grouped in threes – and practice in advance. We’ll discuss my preferred outlining technique in a future blog post, so stay tuned! In the meantime, be patient with yourself and practice.


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The issue for leadership, then, is not the fact that different people have a variety of ways of making sense of the world around them, but rather to what extent a given leader is constrained by his or her particular way of making sense.

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