Here’s my top 3 tips on how to give your top 3 tips…

Posted: November 24, 2015 in Uncategorized

Now this title could be a patronising, condescending and likely annoying thing to say to people

If you’re still with me, let’s please think about this for a second.  Because if your top 3 tips fail the GJT (Generic Jargon Test) you may has well write them on a post it and leave them on the lectern.

I see a lot of this: –

Top 3 tips:

  • Communicate with people regularly
  • Get the top team bought in
  • Allocate some champions across the business to raise awareness

Honestly, this could be about a graduate scheme, acquiring a competitor or  who runs the office cake sale.

I guess on a slide deck, taken in the  context of the rest of a presentation, it could well be useful reminders for people.  I doubt it though.

So here’s my top 3 tips on how to give your top 3 tips.

  1. If you have tips, put a bit more precision into their construct and a lot less genericism.  If it could be about anything it’s not adding enough value.  Think what do you believe people should KNOW; FEEL and DO about your speech/presentation?
  2. Surprise people.  101 stuff like the above doesn’t surprise anyone. So how about you say to people at the end of the keynote “I’m going to recap and avoid a top 3 tips instead suggesting that whatever’s causing you excitement, confusion or curiousness – I’d invite you to follow those thoughts tomorrow.”
  3. Let your Chair, MC, host, link person do the tips as a summary/reflect exercise. It’s kind of their job anyway.  You have enough interesting things to say without throwaway tips bugging up your keynote.

Whilst giving 3 tips might seem a generous thing to do, any unasked for gift based on competence runs the risk of being disliked, ignored or rejected due to the famed “no shit Sherlock” response.  I’m sure we’ve all graduated with honours with an MSc in stating the bleeding obvious!

Being warm and sharing what you hope people now know, think and feel as a result of your story, prose or hypothesis may be just that little more memorable, endearing and useful.

The rule of 3 is a rule, but it doesn’t mean you have to inflict 3 generic tips on anyone.


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