Monday, November 23, 2009

Proposals and Presentations Gobble Up Holiday Time

Many people like to push things from their schedules just before a holiday. It happens all the time. We don’t want to worry about work-related items as we watch the Macy’s Day parade. We want to come back into the office with a blank slate. Probably not too far off the mark from the original intention of Holy Days, the sense of rebirth and, especially on Thanksgiving, reflux.

But sometimes, people push from their schedules onto someone else’s, meaning that some of us end up with more to do during the holidays. For example, today I am herding cats. My company has been selected to give a presentation to a client next Monday – the Monday right after Thanksgiving. We have one week, and a short week at that. Already this morning we have schedule and rescheduled our strategy session three times in order to accommodate the schedules of six people – seven, if you include me as a person, which seldom happens.

To top it off, the powers that be identified this as a “must win” project while we were finalizing the proposal last Friday, which is a little late to identify something as a critical target. So now the pressure is on to win the project in the presentation.

Our team’s first meeting to discuss content, method, and presenters isn’t until end of day today – dangerously close to cocktail hour.

Since the client received our proposal just today, I presume they will not read it too closely this week, so my advice to the team will be to recap the key benefits of our company’s approach in enough detail to provide a targeted proposal recap.

My one fear is that we’ll have six presenters. Six presenters will not rehearse or be “on the same page” in their message during a short week. I want two presenters – two good presenters – and I want them to at least spend some time Sunday practicing – even if it’s only in front of their bathroom mirrors.

Oh, yeah, I do have another fear: a big thick PowerPoint presentation with lots of bullet points. But that is a recurring fear.

Of course this all part of the joy of group presentations, as you can tell from my recent article at Six Minutes. Still, I will try not to worry about it over the holiday.

It’s that turkey who should be worried…

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