The other day a reader said, “My boss asked me if I could do an unplanned talk for 10 minutes. What do I say, how can I organize my thoughts?”

Here’s what we suggested…

“Two things humans almost always find fascinating:

“1. Change or movement (think of early humans out hunting, watching the savannah horizon: Fixed things, like a tree, don’t get much attention, but a moving lion or tiger, the humans will watch that and discuss it for hours).

“2. Will these changes or will this movement affect me?

“So if things are changing at [your organization] or with [your program], just spend your 10 minutes talking about that. Start with a general principal, and then give a case study / example / story about how clients are responding to that change.

“For example:

“Over the past half year, I’ve seen a bunch of things evolving, but here are the biggest three things you should probably keep your eye on…

“Thing-I’ve-seen-change-recently #1. For example, a couple months ago we saw a client run into this issue during their experience with [your program], and this is what happened (you describe the challenge, and then you tell the audience how it got resolved).

“Then there’s Thing-I’ve-seen-change-recently #2. For example, a couple months ago we saw a client run into this issue during their experience with [your program], and this is what happened (you describe the challenge, and then you tell the audience how it got resolved).

“Then there’s Thing-I’ve-seen-change-recently #3. For example, a couple months ago we saw a client run into this issue during their experience with [your program], and this is what happened (you describe the challenge, and then you tell the audience how it got resolved).”

“From the audience’s perspective, you’re giving them advice on what to look out for, and how others are solving it. The [audience members] get to take that knowledge back to their own people, and use it to help their own people prepare for [your program].”

About Matt Krause

Matt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies how to connect with their export customers better. His clients work for companies like Allianz, 3M, P&G, Citibank, and Reckitt Benckiser. He also walked across Turkey and wrote a book about it.