Capture Their Attention with a Message so Appealing
They Put Down Their Phones and Listen
“Karin, I’ve got to tell you. The executives at my company are so busy and distracted. There are just so many things going on. I find it really, really difficult to have an engaging powerful conversation to capture their attention. And I have SOMETHING IMPORTANT TO SAY. What should I do #askingforafriend
In today’s quick Asking for a Friend from the road (less than 3 minutes) from Gettysburg, PA, I share three PRACTICAL tips for communicating with executives and grabbing their attention for your important message.
Resources for Compassionate Conversations
Three Tips for Communicating to Executives
1. Capture their attention with a powerful opening line
When communicating to executives one important secret is to start with a powerful opening line. The idea is to have the first words that leave your lips be so compelling, that they will put down their phones and really pay attention to you. This is the “I- Interesting” starting point of our Courageous Cultures I.D.E.A. model (read more about specific techniques to share your ideas here.
For example, you might say…
“I have an idea that’s going to say us $37,000.”or “I have an idea that’s going to improve our productivity by 15% in the next six months.
It’s not as easy as it seems. Even when we teach this in our executive development programs (and remind people 15 minutes before pitching an idea to the senior team in one of our Idea Challenges), there’s always some group, that takes the first few minutes thanking everyone for their time (“After all, we know how busy. you are”), introducing all the team members, or talking about how challenging the process was an all the options they’ve considered.
2. Keep it Brief
Consider your most important points and practice saying them concisely. I encourage you to write these down, in case you get interrupted or have less time than you anticipated. Make every word count.
You can also anticipate questions and integrate the answers into your message. For example, you might say something like, “you may be wondering if the team has the bandwidth for this right now. I was concerned about that too, so I checked with the team, and they’re all on board to get this done by June 1st.
3. Create a Leave Behind
When communicating to executives, it can be so tempting to tell them all the things. After all, you’ve worked so hard and you know so much. One of the best ways to leave them knowing what you want them to know, and keeping it brief, is to “leave behind” with all the additional information and offer a follow-up meeting for anyone interested in learning more (or coming back for a part 2, now that you have their attention.
I share more details here in Presenting to Executives How to Have More Confidence.
So, here are 3 of my top tips to help you communicate better to executives. What would add as #4?