You’ve got questions, and we’ve got answers. Hi, I’m Kevin Eikenberry, answering the questions that new leaders ask us. Actually, it’s our goal to help all leaders be more productive, successful, and confident. And to do that today, we’re going to answer a question about accelerating your career. I’m going to give you two ways to accelerate your career. Are you ready? Let’s get started.
I’ve been asked many times by leaders at all levels, how do I advance in my career? How do I accelerate my career progress? And so my question to you is, do you want to accelerate your career? Let me answer for you. Of course you do. Even if you don’t want a new job and you’re very happy in the one you have, you want to get better in it, right?
Yeah. Chances are, if that wasn’t true, you wouldn’t still be watching this video. So I have two ideas for you. And these ideas will help your team win, will help you get better results, and will help you advance your career as well. Everybody wins, the organization, the team, and you personally. So what are those two things? They are two specific skills.
And the first one is to polish your presentation skills, your ability. And I don’t love the phrase presentation skills because it puts the focus on the presenting part and yet being able to communicate effectively to a group, to more than one other person, is an incredibly valuable skill. Polishing your presentation skills will help you advance your career. And the second is to lead or facilitate better meetings.
As a leader, you probably are leading and facilitating meetings. Doing it better will help you further or forward accelerate your career. Why these two things specifically? Well, first of all, their high leverage, right? If we have a better meeting that allows 5, 10, 15 people to make better choices, to move forward with a clearer picture of what we’re doing, then that’s a high leverage activity.
If we can do a better job in those moments, we have better communication, better problem solving, better decisions, better execution. Like it’s a high leverage thing and if you have the chance to share a message with a large number of people in a room or over a zoom or whatever, that’s another high leverage situation. So getting a little better at those two skills helps a lot.
Second, these are often high visibility situations. Often, if you’re giving that presentation, there are other people watching or hearing about it that are in positions that might help you get promoted. So these two situations, meetings and presentations, are times when we are often more visible. And so it’s obvious times for our skills to be seen. And thirdly, both of these things are often poorly done.
You’ve been to bad presentations, right? And you’ve certainly been to ineffective meetings. And so the thing is, as you get better at these two things, you will stand out. And perhaps fortunately for all of us individually, the bar isn’t always all that high.
Now there are courses that you can take to be better presenters and to be a better facilitator, planner and facilitator meetings. Of course, there are courses that you can take and you need to practice, but I can’t leave here without giving you a couple of ideas to help you get started. A couple of pieces of advice to help you get better at these two things right away. Number one, plan and prepare more. Do a better job of planning your meetings, knowing what your agenda and your desired outcomes are going to be. Do a better job of preparing to give a successful presentation. Don’t just finish your slides, but prepare, think, and practice.
And second, focus more on the outcome than on yourself. The meeting is for the outcome and for the group. The presentation is for the outcome and the audience. It’s not about you. The more we make both of these things about the group and the result, the better chance we will have to be successful with both of them.
These two skills will absolutely help you accelerate your career whatever the next step of your career might be.
Let me close with today’s tweet. When you improve your presentation skills and lead better meetings, your results and your career will soar.
I hope you found this useful. I hope that one of these ideas helps you accelerate your career. But you might have a different question for me, and you can ask me your question with the chance for me to have an answer here later by scrolling down and leaving a comment or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to do it more anonymously, we’ll take those questions into account as we record future episodes. And you don’t want to miss any future episodes, so make sure you subscribe to get them. And also make sure you take advantage of all the resources that you will find on this page and on this site to help you be a more effective leader every day.
Thanks so much for joining us today.