Strategies for delivering bad news during tough times with good presentations
Whistle while you work! The economy maybe down, but you don't need to be! If the struggling economy has resulted in the need to deliver some bad news, you will need to communicate with clarity and integrity. Keep in mind that tough economic conditions can be difficult for some companies and people. Regardless of the news, people may be looking for leadership. Your job is to deliver the news. A clear message and presentation, delivered with optimistic leadership, will be helpful and appreciated by your customers, employees and vendors.
Here are some ideas on battling bad times with good presentations...
Delivering bad news
Everyone knows the economy is weak. If you have been impacted, acknowledge the pain, but don't dwell on it. Instead, focus on the strategy for moving forward. If economic conditions affect your firm and employee lay offs are on the horizon, keep the channels of communication open.
Understand that employees will be concerned about their future. Your job is to keep everyone focused on delivering service or products to your customers. They need to trust that you will be fair and honest with them. A well-thought plan for communicating and presenting information is critical.
Boosting sales in tough times
Never stop selling!!! Even during good times, it's critical to keep projecting a good company image through marketing and web initiatives. Quality PowerPoint presentations with a clear message and strategy can be a big help. Show people how your products/services can help them today. Show how others are succeeding...or how the competition is doing it. Don't dwell on the negative; get out there with a dynamic presentation and message.
Inspiring your team
Tough times don't last... tough people do. You need to be up front with your team and let them know how things stand. Have a strategy and show leadership to weather the storm. Position your team for success and share inspirational messages about the future. Presentations with motivational quotes or dynamic images can rally your team, creating a spirit of unity and focus.
In short, presenting during tough times is a balance of leadership and inspiration. Want some fuel? Pick up a few motivational quote books...visit some inspirational websites...listen to a visionary like Wayne Dyer or Oprah Winfrey to get charged...or speak with an optimistic friend or spiritual leader to be infused with inspiration. Your words can help put the "spin on dim," turning a dark situation into a bright opportunity.
Will Flower is former Director of Communications at Republic Services, a national waste management firm based in Phoenix, Arizona.