Anyone who's ever had the burden of delivering a less-than-favorable message to a waiting crowd has undoubtedly asked this "what if". In this scenario, it may feel like all of the presentation skills training in the world can't save you, but rest assured — it can. Take a look at Kerri's quick advice for dealing when you have to be the bearer of bad news.
Got a "what if?" for Team Ovation? Let us know in the comments below!
What if... you have to deliver the "bad message"?
Answer from Kerri: There’s never an easy way to deliver bad news. Someone will always be disappointed, or let down, or even infuriated. But remember, even when sharing a good message – you can’t control how people feel, or force them to feel a certain way.
What you CAN do is focus on what you’d like them to DO with this negative information you have to tell them. Do you need to inspire them to perform better next quarter? Warn them about potential dangers of the path they’re on? Release them from employment, and help them transition out? Knowing for yourself what the best of all possible outcomes may be informs how you deliver that information. It can help keep you from communicating with anger or defensiveness.
You can download a chapter of Kerri's book, "Presentation Skills for Managers", HERE.
One more piece of advice – avoid trying to sugar-coat or "dance around" a message. The potential for confusion can lead to more frustration when a difficult message needs to be unraveled by a listener.