Speaking Up – Thought Grenades podcast interviews Rick Gilbert

Have I talked about how much I like the Thought Grenades podcast by Robert Thompson and Mike Niess? They are always interviewing best selling authors, coaches, etc. I came across them randomly this past year while searching for leadership podcasts to download for commuting and roadtrips.

In the 8/27/2012 podcast, Robert interviews Rick Gilbert who wrote the book Speaking Up. Rick shared a few great tips about presenting, specifically how mid-level managers should interact with the C-level. Here are those that I remember, but the links to the podcast are below if you’d like to hear the entire 30 minutes:

  • Stand until C-level arrives and sits – If you are in the room first, don’t sit down at the table. You are not a peer. They know it and they expect you to know it.
  • Get to the point! – This isn’t the time to share stories or ask about their families. Get to the point…and fast! They probably have another meeting to go to right after you present. They may even be thinking about THAT meeting at yours.
  • Decision Making Meeting – Your presentation isn’t for entertainment or to make an emotional connection. This is a decision-making meeting. Again, get to the point.
  • Slides (use sparingly) – If you have slides, use them sparingly. If they’ve given you 20 minutes to present, present for 5 minutes. C-level expect to have a discussion for the last 15 minutes vs. 20 minutes of slides. If you need the slides too much, they will think you don’t know your stuff.
  • Facilitate all the Characters – Be ready to facilitate, truly, the discussion. These are executives. They may be coming into the room with prior “baggage” working with each other. They might even fight. Demonstrate that you’ve thought about this beforehand (or even check beforehand with those that work with them to find out these details) and prepare to keep the discussion going.

Rick interviewed about 50 executives at the C-level to find out these insights. In his new book he’s included QRcodes so that readers can go out to the actual video interviews he had along the way. Great idea!

Check out the entire discussion and some of the other podcasts:

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