Seven Fripp Do’s
1. Practice. A report to senior managers is not a conversation; however, it must sound conversational. Once you have your notes, practice by speaking out loud to an associate, or when you are driving to work, or on the treadmill. Make sure you are familiar with what you intend to say. It is not about being perfect. It is about being personable. (Remember, rehearsal is the work; performance is the relaxation.)
2. Open with your conclusions. Don’t make your senior level audience wait to find out why you are there.
3. Describe the benefits if your recommendation is adopted. Make these benefits seem vivid and obtainable.
4. Describe the costs, but frame them in a positive manner. If possible, show how not following your recommendation will cost even more…
5. List your specific recommendations, and keep it on target. Wandering generalities will lose their interest. You must focus on the bottom line. Report on the deals, not the details.
6. Look everyone in the eye when you talk. You will be more persuasive and believable. (You can’t do this if you are reading!)
7. Be brief. The fewer words you can use to get your message across, the better. Jerry Seinfeld says, “I spend an hour taking an eight-word sentence and making it five.” That’s because he knows it would be funnier. In your case, shorter is more memorable and repeatable.
Not sure I ever had the presence of mind to put myself in the frame of the way managers think, so this seems like pretty valuable advice to me. Read the whole post for a list of “don’ts” too and more. Via Speaking Pro Central.