Home / Consulting Best Practices / Communication Tips

Communication Tips

Operate Your Presentation like a Pro

In an article for Consultant News, Toastmasters International’s Paul Carroll outlines some basic tips to give a presentation that is actually worth remembering. A good presentation begins with understanding your audience, which means you should study up on them beforehand. From there, develop a clear message that will be of interest to them. Be as concise as you can while still conveying all the essential details; you might be surprised how much information you can …

Read More »

Practice Acknowledgement and Praise

In a post at Consulting 101, Lew Sauder discusses how a little bit of gratitude can be very important, but people sometimes forget to give it. For instance, if you receive a hundred emails daily, you probably only respond to emails that specifically demand it. That does not include emails that report important information you requested, which may have required a lot of effort to put together. People can easily start to feel underappreciated when …

Read More »

Are You Getting ‘Stuff’ Done?

In a post for Consulting 101, Lew Sauder reminds us of the simple importance of clarity. It is easy to talk in vague speak, like, “I’m gonna see the guy about that thing,” and magically expect others to understand what you mean. But they probably do not know, and thus a conversation is lengthened like fresh pasta as you are forced to repeat yourself—but this time with terms that make sense. The longer it takes …

Read More »

Getting in the Middle of Client Disputes

You are the trusted and impartial consultant. People look to you for guidance… and they also look to you to complain about other people. In a post for the Institute of Management Consultants USA, Mark Haas explains how you should behave when clients make a habit of complaining about each other to you. Basically, Haas says that maintaining an impartial air is critical to your consulting ability, and if you attempt to mediate for two …

Read More »

Engagement Dips with Enthusiasm

When consultants first come on board, clients are enthusiastic to engage deeply with them to spur results. However, sometimes that client enthusiasm dwindles over time. In a quick post for the Institute of Management Consultants USA, Mark Haas discusses what to do in this situation. He estimates that if engagement is to decrease throughout the life of a project, it is mostly like to begin around a quarter of the way through it. It can …

Read More »

Structure Communications with the Pyramid Principle

Ex-McKinsey consultant Barbara Minto conceived what she called the Minto Pyramid Principle, a strategy for structuring communication. A post at Consultants Mind describes this principle in abbreviated terms. Perhaps you can use this technique to create more impactful reports and presentations. The View from the Top The pyramid principle structures information in such a way that everyone learns what they need to know quickly. And the flow of information is appropriately pyramidal in shape. For …

Read More »

3 Ways to Wow Communications-Averse Clients

Some people just like to keep their mouths shut. Whether it is because not all the information is clear yet, or they are just afraid of saying the wrong thing, clients can be reticent. An article at Consultant News offers three ways to keep engaged with client sponsors, even if you are the one doing most of the talking: Engage leadership in crafting the messages and delivery. Start small, because small wins are still wins. …

Read More »

The Perfect Consulting Meeting Agenda for More Productivity

To a given extent, the more preparation you put into something, the better you are likely to execute it. When it comes to meetings, something as basic as an agenda can vastly increase their final results. In a post for Consulting Success, Michael Zipursky relates the simple three-part agenda structure that ensures a consultant has the necessary conversations with a client. For Better, Quicker Adjournment Client meetings and sales meetings are the two places where …

Read More »

12 Essential Negotiating Strategies for Consultants

Veteran organizations have a whole host of power play tactics to get consultants to crunch their fees into something less than they probably deserve. What can you do as a consultant to stand your ground in hard negotiations? David Sherwin provides 12 tips in an article for Fast Company to maintain the balance of power in the room: Have a position before you enter the room. Understand what kind of leverage you have. Make sure …

Read More »

What Makes for an Effective Consulting Relationship?

What does the client want, and how can the consultant best provide it? These are the ultimate questions in consulting, and ones with answers that will vary depending on the situation. In an article for MindShare Consulting, Michael McLaughlin nonetheless share some general tips that hold true in just about every context. In Search of Pleased Clients Consultants should always aim to over-deliver, but the truth is that most clients will be happy if the …

Read More »