Are You Preparing to Fail?

There is a well-used saying that goes something like 'Failing to prepare is preparing to fail'.  A great saying when it comes to preparing for a presentation, a meeting, anywhere that your emotions are likely to get in the way of you making a great delivery.

So how do you prepare.  Research tells us that our brain can only adequately work on three things at any one time when we are under pressure.  This is why politicians are told to focus on three key themes during media interviews or when they are making a public statement.

The problem with doing this limited preparation is that you are no longer ready for what might eventuate such as when being asked questions from the audience.  If these questions are being asked by the media you can guarantee that they have conducted a lot of background checks on you and they will have a few curly questions ready.

When preparing for these types of meetings and presentations, write down your three key themes and then have five strands coming from each theme.  An explanation; for the first point you want to make write five additional points that are linked to this main point.  An easy way to do this is to ask yourself, "if they ask me this question about my main point then I will answer it this way". 

You will now have 15 things that you can say but remain with the original three key messages.  By doing this you are also preparing your brain for the unexpected.  It is very much like preparing for a job interview.  Remember how you prepared so hard for the interview yet they never asked you any of the questions that you had prepared for?  Nevertheless you could answer the questions because your brain was 'warmed up' and prepared to defend you from the unexpected.