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Your career may be positively or negatively affected by the success of your project
…and you’ll have to fight hard for the win
The valley of despair is a dangerous place, with creatures that have their own agendas ready to ‘eat’ your project
A lot of doing this job well comes down to soft skills: - Listening - Honesty - Humour
You really can improve your listening skills – search online – there are lots of courses and methods to follow.
Brutal honesty (not rudeness, but reality)Tell the truth about the state of your projectPut ‘money’ in the trust bank
Humor can be good for relieving tensionDON’T make fun of the client (that leaves you as the target of your humour)
But, since you are already there – why not have the focus be on you and your message?
The goal is avoid what Gar Reynolds calls “Sliduments” – documents that are created in PowerPoint.If you need to have a detailed ‘leave behind’, create a Word doc with the details.
Slides with lots of ‘build’ steps almost invariably mess you up.
Make sure the presentation is pitched at the right level – you don’t want to leave your audience confused
Your presentations need to find the right balance of informative and entertaining.Just entertaining = low valueJust informative = low engagement
You want your audience to be engaged with your content, listening to what you are saying and not trying to read all the words on the screen
Avoid having people spend the whole sessions scribbling by letting them know that you have tons of detail in the speakers’ notes, and that you will be sending them a copy of the presentation, or making it available for them for download.
Cheesy clip-art is NOT appropriate for business presentations (or anyone older than middle-school!)Stretching low-resolution images to fit just looks really BADDon’t steal copyright images (you can download great images from Office.com, and you can buy them from shutterstock, dreamstime, depositphotos and others)Crazy animation is really not necessary – it’s distracting, I use it RARELY. I do use ‘fade’ transitions between slides, just to soften the switch.
Just picking images is not good enough… you have to find the right image that supports the message, not distracts from it.
If you have three main stakeholders, and they have different mental models for what success looks like, then you have zero chance of real success. Only when you have shared commitment to the same goal, do you have any chance at success.
Our project is to build a bridge… so here’s a bridge
But so is this,
Even this is a bridge
Our stakeholders are excited about this project!We’ve agreed that we need a bridge!But, if one person pictures a giant steel roadway bridge, others a covered bridge and one simple stepping stones… then…
Our odds of success are low – in-fact, I’d say zero
This is the most important message of this talk: You MUST achieve a shared understanding to have a chance at success.
Mind mapping – wireframing – process flow diagramming
There are two types of problems: Tame & Wicked.Landing a person on the moon is Tame (but really, really complex)Solving poverty is wickedYou don’t understand the problem until you’ve developed the solutionYou don’t really know when you’ve accomplished the goalSolutions are not right or wrong, they are just better or worseEvery wicked problem is uniqueEvery solution is a one-shot operationYou are dealing with social complexity
All the mapping that I’ve shown so far, uses facilitation and a shared display.The new thing is IBIS: Issue Based Information System
IBIS grammar has only four elements: Question, Idea, Pro, and ConIdeas respond to questions (and ONLY questions)Pro’s support ideas (and ONLY ideas)Con’s challenge ideas (and ONLY ideas)Questions can respond to anything
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