He’s not just into you

05Sep13

I’m referring to the boss.

Imagine this: You were given a task to generate specific topics for an arranged seminar. You were ready to present ideas. You asked for five minutes (one lesson from Prof Wow, is that when doing a presentation give your audience an estimate of how long will your presentation be. Be mindful of the time estimate and manage it). You were pretty confident with the presentation but something just ain’t right. The ideas don’t get in. What’s happening?

Now picture this: Notice the way he act. He projects himself like a boss, the confidence in his seat, then little by little he fidgets. For every idea, he googles, reads, gives comments while glancing at his monitor from time to time. Based on his search results, he disagrees. Heartbreak.

He starts to question. Unrelated and irrelevant. Why is there a need to explain the course outline when the objective of the task is to throw in possible subtopics? Why the need to figure the outcome of the proposed topics when these topics are just one of the several factors that would define the success of the course? Why the need to tailor fit the topics to the competence of the identified / endorsed presenter when the objective is to address the existing gap?

(Then in the middle of irrelevant questions, he recalls the personality of his brother just to justify his manner of questioning.)

For two days now I still cannot move on from the fact that the presentation failed. But from every failure there’s a lesson.

I look at my material.  Are the ideas at fault? They can’t be. Each were carefully thought, what exists and what doesn’t were considered, also the applicability on the current issues. Studies we’re cited from my HBR readings even!

Communication? Perhaps, on listening particularly. When do you listen? When do you talk? If you asked for a presentation, be open about it before blocking. (Unless you’re the boss. Does that qualify?) Next time I’ll see if giving a hard copy of the material plus presentation will work better.

How about timing? Probably. Although the task was given and was permitted to submit the assignment, presenting hard-to-grasp ideas in the late afternoon maybe was a bad idea. Morning will probably be a good time to do it. Well I think this depends.

The speaker! The factor I failed to consider! When I thought of topics, I never thought of the competence of the speaker because he is a given variable! He was limited!  It could have been the other way around–identify topic first then source for competent person to talk instead of getting someone talk a topic that doesn’t belong in his area.  (I feel bad with the exclamation points.)

Still thinking.  We’re not yet done.



2 Responses to “He’s not just into you”

  1. Hey Red Ribboned Girl,
    (nice name, by the way!) 🙂
    Is there any way you can get more feedback about what your audience (the boss?) thought about the presentation? Sometimes when you’re really involved in the detail you can’t always see the bigger picture, and you need someone else with a different perspective to point out the issue for you. Bit like being unable to see the wood through the trees.
    What do you think?
    All the best,
    Francis
    PS. Thanks for the “like” on my blog
    http://blog.qualityprojectdelivery.com

    • Thanks Francis!
      I’ve learned from this experience that there are several unique ways to do the presentation to your boss depending on the situation and other circumstances and you have to figure that out every time, there is just no template for that.


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