Hi, I’m shiki.
I worked for an IT consulting firm and now, I’m working in the IT department of an apparel company.
Recently, I’ve been reviewing meeting materials made by others, and I feel that there are many materials that I can’t understand the point.
Do you do a self-review after you’ve created your materials properly?
Even though you say “Yes”, you should have been told by your boss “Did you review your material properly?”
I’ve been told that many many many many times. (Of course, I thought I’ve reviewed it myself)
Even if you think “It’s perfect!”, if you didn’t contain the information the counterpart needs or is not in the proper order, you will be scolded by your boss in the review.
Today, I’d like to share the 5 points to review your materials I learned while getting scolded a lot.
- 1．Is it clear what action you want the counterpart to take?
- 2．Are you answering the questions that need to be answered?
- 3．Does it matches the view they’re looking at?
- 4．Does it contains only the information the counterpart wants to know?
- 5．Is the story tailored to the person you’re talking to?
- In the end
1．Is it clear what action you want the counterpart to take?
When you create a meeting material, the actions to ask the counterpart are 3 below.
-Make sure they understand
-Ask for their advice, opinion, decision
-Get them to take action
You need to review your material to make sure it is clear which of the above is the purpose of your material.
2．Are you answering the questions that need to be answered?
Whether it’s a business issue, a management issue, or a homework assignment from a board member, you probably have a set of “questions to be answered” when you create your meeting materials.
Even though you understand the question before you start to create a meeting material, you often forget the question during the process of creating or revising it.
I also get so caught up in creating a meeting material I quickly lose track. (And scolded.)
You should look back at the “questions to be answered” after you’ve finished creating the material.
3．Does it matches the view they’re looking at?
When I’m making materials, I often find myself writing what I want to say from my point of view.
Moreover, I often don’t even notice it in a self-review until being pointed out.
Because I wrote what I want to tell.
How about you?
However, the person to whom the material is being shown is not you, but someone else.
Does the counterpart have the prerequisite knowledge?
To whom are you going to show your material, board members, director, leader?
We have to pay attention to these points.
It doesn’t need to explain the detail to board members. (There is some officer who wants to know…)
In case you explain to the team leader, it would be better to explain the detail.
We should select the granularity of information for the person we are explaining to.
4．Does it contains only the information the counterpart wants to know?
It is typical that we want to be pointed out a lot, and we can’t help including a lot of information in my materials.
Yeah, we don’t want to be scolded.
However, if you include a lot of information, your material will be difficult to understand.
Imagine the interest and recognition of issues of the counterpart, and you should cut off the pages the counterpart doesn’t interested in.
If you worry about being pointed a lot by the counterpart, you can just keep a note at hand.
The material to explain should contain only the information the counterpart wants to know.
5．Is the story tailored to the person you’re talking to?
The story of materials should be fit to the way of thinking of the counterpart.
Talking about the order,
Background -> Evidence -> Conclusion or
Conclusion -> Evidence
Talking about the contents,
Does the counterpart care about the store staff or the warehouse staff?
Does the counterpart care about the sales or engineers?
If your story doesn’t fit the way of thinking of the counterpart, he or she will be irritated and it will be impossible to keep the meeting under control.
You should understand the counterpart’s thinking and make stories.
In the end
When you review your materials, it’s not enough to just review them and will be told, “Did you review them properly? And it will be difficult to get out of the cycle of being scolded.
If you have indicators like the one I mentioned above, it will be easier to find points to correct when reviewing.
I hope you find it helpful.
I wrote these 5 points on the memo application and set it on the desktop of my laptop.