Sometimes I go to a session and learn something great from a client. That happened last week when working with a senior vice president for communication for a large manufacturing firm.
We were talking about how to quickly pull together your thoughts when you’re put on the spot in a meeting. For example, how do you respond when the CEO says, “Tell me about the project you’re working on.”
“I always rely on the ‘Three Ons’,” my client told me.
Using the “Three Ons”, your report out would go like this.
“The project is going well but we are having some challenges. I want to talk about three issues: Are we on budget? Are we on schedule? And are we still on scope?”
First, are we on budget? [Explain budget related issues.]
Second, are we on schedule? [then explain schedule and timing issues.]
Third, are we on scope? [Then explain anything related to the scope of the program and whether it has needed to be changed.]
It’s a great tool because the three point structure allows you to roll out your ideas simply and in an orderly manner. That makes it easy for your listeners to digest.
Being able to think quickly on your feet (or seat) isn’t about being truly quick-minded. It’s about having a plan for how to respond when the time comes.
Three “Three Ons” is one for your bag of tricks.