Here’s something weird. This year, the question I get more than any other is: “How do I deal with someone who is trying to derail my meeting?”
I’m not sure what it is about 2023, but apparently the humans in the meetings my clients are trying to run are behaving like over-caffeinated toddlers. Did 2.5 years of turning off the camera and pretending to listen to meetings rob us of our capacity to sit in a room and watch/listen to someone talking about the business of our companies?
It IS hard to politely listen to a presentation, but it’s even harder to present one when the room becomes an obstacle course. Presenters, I feel your pain.
You’re in the middle of your fourth slide and the product guy talks over you with his own strategy suggestion. You WANT to say: “Geez Thad, could you possibly think that my team and I didn’t already consider that? We found a dozen obvious problems that I guess didn’t occur to you. Do you think we are as dumb as you are?”
But you can’t say that. Instead, you breathe, you pause, you marshall your emotions and you say, “Thad, thanks for that. We did consider that idea but it wasn’t viable. I can go over the analysis with you later, but I need to get to the strategy we ARE recommending, which is on slide five.”
It takes a ton of discipline to remain calm when the Thads in the room keep interrupting you.
The first step in managing interrupters is just realizing that you need to build that capacity. You don’t drive to the ocean and then realize you need to learn how to swim. You learn before you go.
In 2023, every presenter must learn to patiently, gracefully manage interruptions and get back on track. Need help? Come get some!
Not sure how to crush your next presentation? Navigate tough questions? Need some pragmatic, actionable communications advice? Consider Office Hours with Lisa, a great way to get bite-sized, personalized coaching. And there are tons of resources in poseycorp’s newsletter – subscribe here. Get some skills! Because it’s the great communicators who create the change they want to see in the world!