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How often have you had to present or lead a meeting you know nothing about? How long do you prepare for it?

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My current team leadership is fond of turning the meeting over to me at random and leaving. I think they’re trying to break me

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Hilarious move

Normally I would prepare by delivering the presentation aloud to myself and practicing mock Q&A. But the beauty of Zoom is that no one’s eyes are ever directly on the camera so you can look away slightly while speaking. I have begun to type my presentation speech directly into OneNote in a way I would speak, and then read it verbatim. I even write “ums” and “uhhs” to make it realistic.

🥷🥷

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Pro tip. Dictate into the notes of a local ppt copy

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If I don’t know much or anything about it I will just facilitate and try to drive the meeting to help the client structure their thoughts and arrive at a solution.

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If you’ve had time to prepare for it you’ve had time to learn about the meeting 🙃

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But not really, just be willing to pull in other team members opinions. Happens to me a lot lately and I try to emphasize the areas where I’m comfortable the most.

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Have your talking points handy and as practiced as possible. Also, if people ask questions you don't know the answer to, delegate someone else in the room if possible (as in if one of your colleagues is there and you know they can answer - but ask them before the presentation) or say that you'll find the answer and get back to them.

Scripts are great if you follow along so you know where to refer back to from off-cuff conversations. It also helps you cognitively remember what you want to say, and will help you flow better. After that I wouldn’t recommend “rehearsals” unless it’s a major presentation. If it’s a discussion, keep it organic

All day everyday 🤣

If you have access to the presentation before hand, read it all and then bullshit your way out of the meeting. Try to show that you KNOW what you are talking about, avoid let the ppt in the screen if some data is showing (as soon as the client sees some data for too long, their mind will ask scenarios, don't allow that). As you read the ppt you will end it up learning more about the findings and can get on track to deliver with quality.

This actually made my career many yrs ago. We were sitting in an executive meeting with 4 high level execs and 4 partners (one whom was the most senior partner of my group). My report-to partner turned to me and asked me to lead the meeting without warning. Thank the stars I had thought through some bullet points prior to the meeting and slammed the ball out of the park....even had a little negotiation going with one of the client execs. The senior partner pulled me aside and told me he had never seen that in a young practitioner before...next thing I knew, I got rapid promotions, large pay increase, and connections throughout the company...likely one of the most defining hours in my life.

5 minutes. Ask my team for a list of “talking points”, and read them prior.

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