How to Simplify Communicating a Complex Strategy

One on One Meeting with partial laptop

‘Tis the season for holiday cheer and…strategy planning.

We know those two don’t necessarily mix but they both seem to be in abundance this time of year. We will assume you have the holiday cheer under control and will focus on how to best roll out your strategy plan so it engages the right action from your team.

One of the biggest challenges our clients face is how to communicate a strategy plan without it coming across as overly complex.

Complexity doesn’t engage or inspire. It leaves teams confused on how to move forward.

One exercise to help overcome this challenge is to deliver your strategy plan in 5 minutes without slides. This will get you to the essence of your plan. Once you have the 5-minute version, then it is easier to layer on relevant details without losing your listener.

Here are three tips, along with questions to ask yourself, so that you can hone that 5-minute version.

1. Identify its overarching purpose.

  • What’s the big picture/theme of the strategy plan?
  • Why is that important to my team?
  • What do I need from them to make it happen?

2. Distill it down to its elements.

  • What are the three key supporting pillars to the plan?
  • What’s one conclusive sentence that sums up the key takeaway for each pillar?

3. Don’t open PowerPoint.

  • How would I verbally communicate this plan without slides?
  • If I had one flipchart or whiteboard, how would I summarize it?

We know your strategy presentation will need to be more than 5 minutes to get results. But trust us – once you have the short version down, the longer versions will be that much more impactful.

In the spirit of holiday cheer, here’s a toast to clear and compelling strategy presentations for 2019 and beyond (turns out they do go together)!

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