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Today’s leaders need to wear multiple hats.

A business leader in the digital era must have a keen awareness of technology trends, needs of millennial employee, and also be a master at delivering briefings – short announcements to employees, customers, peers and regulators that introduce important information about organizational matters.

Most experts in this area agree that the key to giving a successful briefing is to keep it accurate, concise and clear. Although the objective may be similar to a presentation or speech, the format itself is different.

Just as in other types of oral communication, however, a successful briefing focuses on the audience. While the information supplied during a briefing is important, what’s more important is that the information evokes the desired response.

Organization is crucial.

A successful briefing has a distinct beginning, body and end. Start the briefing by presenting a big-picture outline of the information you’re about to present. A good idea is to simply reference the main points in your briefing outline.

The body of the briefing should reference objectives in the order presented in that outline. Organize the main points of each objective in a specified format and logical order, such as chronologically, using a cause-and-effect format or topical organization.

The ending should consist of a short summary of the information just presented. Be sure to thank the audience for listening before concluding the briefing.

Another critical point is to be at ease and be in control. Establish a commanding presence. Eye contact, body movements and voice are crucial elements in successful briefings. There was a time when speakers were taught to look over the heads of their audience. Now that’s considered bad form. Don’t look over the heads of the audience or between audience members, but instead maintain direct eye contact as you would during a normal conversation.

Some instructors in briefings recommend searching out and give the most direct attention to senior-ranking members of the audience. Others suggest attempting to pay at least some attention to each audience member. A steady stance and natural hand gestures are important, as most briefings are delivered from behind a lectern or podium.

In addition, speaking clearly and articulately so your words are easy to understand are also desirable traits of the leadership briefer. Also, studies show that audiences are more engaged when the briefer varies the rate, volume, force and pitch of their voice and delivery.

Want to learn more? Tonex offers Briefing Skills and Techniques, a 3-day course that enables participants to conduct effective briefings and presentations. Participants learn how to plan, prepare, organize and deliver an effective briefing successfully. Participants also learn how to construct and present briefings and how to handle questions from the audience.

Additionally, Tonex also offers dozens of other contemporary Leadership Training courses. Please see our Leadership (for the Digital Era) page.

For more information, questions, comments, contact us.

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