I have a simple performance mantra, if I attend / host a meeting, I will aim to be the best prepared. This does not mean I will have all the answers, it merely means I will do my best to contribute actively and meaningfully. I ensure I have the 3 Cs covered.

Context – How you explain is as important as what you explain.

I explain the context in no more than two of the biggest impact attributes. The brain can hold at best, 4 thoughts at the same time. Why push the limit, stick with 2. e.g. if I am talking about competition, I’ll talk about pricing and competitor’s sales initiatives. I will not bring all the attributes that influence competition. What this allows you to do, is focus the team’s attention on your unique analysis of the context, why you picked these two and not other attributes. This approach improves overall quality of the analysis while maintaining fidelity.

Content – How you show your content is as powerful as what you show.

Use the data from context and transform it in to simple infographics. Show your content in contrast and create conflict. The brain processes conflict by forcing a deliberate course of action, and not just go with the flow. You will retain the attention and engagement of your team. A small red dot among a sea of 100 black dots is more memorable than showing 1%.

Communication – How you say it as powerful as what you say.

Research shows us that you cannot read and listen at the same time, as the same parts of the brain are used for both activities. In reality you are switching between reading and listening. Grossly inefficient, and I’d say bordering on torture. PowerPoints are terrible! Combine this with an individual’s attention span which varies enormously based on health, age, fatigue, interest and distractions. Provide reading material upfront before a meeting, use the presentation to discuss and debate.

The key skills you will need to do the 3Cs are statistical analysis (central tendency, dispersion, co-relation, regression), data analysis tools (excel, etc.) , infographic design tools (canva, etc.), and long and short form writing.

In summary, invest time in developing these skills, and don’t outsource creating ‘your unique perspective’ to anyone else. There are plenty of powerful tools available today that can help you level up your performance. Tools we use are Beautiful.AI, Canva, Excel, Notion, Miro.