Personalized learning for Individuals.

Having challenges with meetings, presentations,
brainstorming, briefing and other work situations?

Lets look at some communication challenges facing executives in four common work situations and how we can go about resolving them.

1. MAKING MEETINGS PRODUCTIVE FOR ALL (1.5 min read.)

In this brief article, we’re going to explore the world of business meetings and the challenges that can come with them. We’ll also learn how to make meetings more effective and pleasant!

Let’s first talk about what gives rise to common issues in meetings.

It seems like there is always something wrong with meetings. These could include not everyone participating, unclear communication, meetings that drag on forever, some people talking too much, and difficulty reaching decisions.

It is important to understand how and why these issues happen. Sometimes, people don’t feel comfortable speaking up because they think their ideas won’t be heard or taken seriously. If meetings lack proper planning and structure, it can lead to confusion. And if someone is very assertive, they might dominate the conversation, making others hesitant to share their thoughts.

So, what causes these challenges?

It could be because some people may not know how to lead a meeting effectively or to participate constructively. Poor preparation or not having clear goals for the meeting can also cause problems. Sometimes, the culture of the organization might discourage open discussions, making it harder for everyone to speak freely.

What can be done to lessen these issues?

To have better meetings, we can learn how to be good meeting facilitators or participants, set clear objectives, and have a well-thought-out agenda and purpose. Encouraging one another to share their ideas and using time wisely can also make meetings more efficient. And when it comes to making decisions, we can use specific techniques and resolve conflicts positively even before the meeting starts!

Playing our part

We all have a part to play in making meetings better. We can work on improving our own communication skills during meetings. Some of us might need to boost our confidence to speak up, while others could practice being good listeners. Understanding how to contribute constructively and challenge ideas respectfully can make us valuable participants in meetings.

So, let’s learn how to do all these to make future business meetings more successful and enjoyable for everyone involved. With teamwork and the right skills, you can turn meetings into productive, collaborative and valuable experiences!

2. OVERCOMING PRESENTATION CHALLENGES (1.5 min read.)

In this short overview, let’s talk about business presentation skills and some common difficulties people face. Presentations are a bit nerve-wracking for many people, but we can certainly learn how to overcome them!

What makes presentation so stressful?

When it comes to giving presentations, many people struggle with things like feeling nervous, not being well-prepared, using boring slides, or failing to engage the audience effectively.

Nervousness might occur because public speaking can be scary, and not having much experience can add to the anxiety. Poor preparation often results from not managing time properly or underestimating the effort needed for a successful presentation. Using dull slides may be because we’re not sure how to create engaging visuals.

These challenges can come from various reasons, such as lacking confidence, not having enough practice or training, not understanding the audience’s needs, or not using effective communication strategies.

Finding the right solutions

Now, let’s talk about the reality of finding a solution. There are plenty of ways to tackle these challenges! You can work on improving your public speaking skills by practicing in front of a mirror or joining a group like Toastmasters. You can learn to structure your presentations better, create captivating visuals, and enhance your communication and persuasive abilities. Seeking feedback from colleagues can also help a lot!

But how many people are prepared to go to a Toastmaster gathering where you are expected to immediately give a rundown of yourself in a room of 10 strangers? Also, can you find the time and skills to learn to create great presentations? And will you be able to find a partner who will be there to give you constant feedback for improvement? All of these are challenging to many busy executives.

Knowing your personality and weaknesses

The reality is to remember that each one of us will have different areas to improve on and new skills to develop because of our unique personalities. Some might need to work on building confidence, while others can focus on organizing their content or engaging the audience. The key is to identify what you need to work on personally and seek help in those specific areas.

The key is to recognize that personalizing your learning will significantly reduce the time it takes to achieve your goals compared to a group setting constrained by a formal and standardized lesson plan. So, let’s seize this opportunity to define your specific learning objectives and become a better presenter. Through focused and consistent practice, guidance, and a positive attitude, you can master those presentations!

3. SUCCESSFUL BRAINSTORMING SESSIONS (1.5 min read)

In this discussion, we’re going to delve into the art of business brainstorming and the challenges that can come with it. We’ll also learn how to overcome these obstacles and become better brainstormers together!

Managing multiple challenges

First up, let’s talk about why brainstorming sessions can be stressful. During these sessions, it’s normal to face a number of challenges. These could be things like having trouble getting everyone to participate, struggling to come up with creative ideas, dealing with dominant personalities, running out of time, or feeling like the brainstorming process is a bit chaotic.

Sometimes, people may hold back from sharing their ideas because they fear criticism. Generating creative ideas can be tough if we’re stuck in our usual ways of thinking. And when one or two people dominate the conversation, it can be tough for others to contribute freely.

Well, it could be because the team dynamic isn’t as supportive and trusting as it should be. Maybe we didn’t do enough research or prepare well before the brainstorming session. Fear of making mistakes can also hold us back, and sometimes, we just haven’t set clear goals for the brainstorming.

What can one do as a moderator or participant?

To encourage better brainstorming, we can create a safe and welcoming environment where everyone’s ideas are respected. We can try out fun and creative techniques to trigger our imagination. And setting clear rules and having someone facilitate the session can help ensure everyone gets a chance to contribute.

More than teamwork

Let’s also consider that improving our brainstorming skills isn’t just about the team; it’s also about us as individuals. We can work on becoming better listeners, thinking more openly, and honing our creative thinking abilities.

So, let’s embrace the challenges and seize the opportunity to become awesome brainstormers. Together, we can make your future brainstorming sessions more productive, creative, and fun!

4. CONDUCTING BUSINESS BRIEFINGS EFFECTIVELY (1.5 min read)

Now, we’re going to dive into the world of business briefings and dwell briefly on the challenges we might face. But don’t worry, we’ll also learn some great techniques to make our briefings clear, engaging, and successful!

What are the common issues in this work situation?

When it comes to business briefings, some challenges come to mind. These could be things like not being clear about the briefing’s purpose, struggling to keep the audience interested, using complex words that confuse others, sharing too much or too little information, and finding it tough to keep the delivery organized.

Sometimes, we might not be sure about the briefing’s objectives or what we want to achieve. Engaging our audience can be tricky if we forget to make the content relatable and exciting for them. Using technical jargon might happen when we’re so familiar with the topic that we forget not everyone is on the same page.

How and why do these issues happen?

It could be because we didn’t prepare enough or didn’t know our audience well. Maybe we haven’t practiced our delivery skills enough, or we haven’t sought feedback from similar audience type to improve. But don’t be overly concerned, we have solutions for these issues!

Steps can we can take to make briefings better

To ace our briefings, we can start by doing thorough research and planning to know exactly what we want to achieve. Engaging our audience can be easier if we use stories or examples they can relate to. Also, let’s try to use simple language that everyone can understand, finding the right balance between providing enough information and not overwhelming them.

Lastly, remember that we can all work on improving our briefing skills. Whether you’re the presenter or part of the audience, there’s a role for everyone. As presenters, practice and seeking feedback are essential for growth. And for audience members, active listening, asking questions, and giving constructive feedback can help presenters do even better.

So, let’s all get ready to rock our business briefings! With these tips and a willingness to learn, we’ll become excellent presenters and active participants in any briefing. Let’s make our business communication clear, engaging, and impactful!

GET PRACTICAL HELP FROM REAL INDUSTRY EXECUTIVE AS YOUR COACH

If you have communication issue with any of the above scenarios or other work situations, you can contact me, your tutor-coach-mentor. I am a friendly and approachable senior business executive (worked in global MNCs and local SMEs) with years of mentoring, as well as business and teaching experience. Presently, I am a consultant to the education and startup industries.

My private 1-to1 ZOOM classes are held only in the evenings and weekends. Email me at BusinessEnglishCoachSG@gmail.com or call 9873 8222 to find out more.