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Be PreparedI know this has happened to you:  You go to a meeting and someone presents a topic to the team.  They may even have a PowerPoint presentation or a Word document.  But as they go through their material, they start saying things like, “I haven’t really finished all of this yet” or, “I didn’t have a chance to completely put this together.”

You also notice that there are formatting issues – bullet points don’t line-up, some pages have very little on them, some typos, etc.

Or maybe they started the meeting by saying, “I really haven’t had a chance to think through exactly what we are going to do today.  Let’s see, where should we start?”

Okay, after these type of things happen in a meeting, it gives me two questions for you:

  1. How confident are you in the information that was just shared in the meeting?
  2. What do you think of the person that presented the information?

Here are the answers to those two questions:

  1. You don’t fully trust the information
  2. You don’t think very highly of the person

Have you ever presented information like this?  Ever gone to a meeting unprepared?  Ever led a session you weren’t ready for?  If you have, then you are the person described above.

Don’t be this person.

Think about it.  When you are this person, your information isn’t trusted, and people aren’t thinking good things about you.

Why have you been this person?  Two reasons.

  1. You weren’t organized
  2. You weren’t prepared

When you are this person, your information isn’t trusted, and people aren’t thinking good things about you.  Why have you been this person?  Two reasons: You weren’t organized.  You weren’t prepared.

The answer…

Be organized.  Be prepared.

What happens when you are organized and prepared?

People perceive that you know what you are talking about.  People believe you are good at your job.  People trust the information that you present.

Those are all really good things.  You want people to think all of those things.  So how do you accomplish that?

Be organized.  Be prepared.

Okay great, but what does that mean?

Spend the time to be ready for a meeting.  Never present something you haven’t finished.  Never lead a meeting you haven’t planned in advance.  Clean-up your materials – no typos, bullets line-up, same fonts, matching point sizes, etc.

I know you are busy and you have a lot going on.  Maybe you need to work extra hours to get ready.  The people in the meeting don’t have to know that you were working until 2 am to complete the information.  As far as they know, you were at the meeting and you were organized and you were prepared.

What happens next?

When you are always organized and prepared, everyone gets used to that from you.  They know that when you work on something, it goes well.

Do you know what happens then?

They accept what you say.  They believe you are correct.  They believe you know the answers.

They like working with you.  They are happy when you are on a team with them.  They like it when you lead a project or meeting.

They think highly of you.  They trust you.  They believe your information.


Because you were organized and prepared.

Unbelievable.  All of those good things are coming your way simply because you were organized and prepared.

Always be organized and prepared.

It really isn’t that hard.  Just spend a bit more time.  Work a little more.  Get yourself organized.  Get yourself prepared.

Whether you are meeting with your boss, with customers, with a project team, or just sharing information with co-workers in a team meeting – you have to be organized and prepared.

Always be the organized and prepared one.  That’s the person you want to be.