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How do I answer that?

A month ago 

I was sitting in our Monday morning sales meeting with the Sunday blues hanging over my head. I jolted back to reality when I saw my boss glaring at me. There was a question looming between us – “Ragini, what is the situation with the merger project?”

My heart was thumping. My mind was searching for the correct words. I was the centre of attention, the sooner I responded the better. But what came out was completely different to the message I wanted to portray. I realised this when I got the response, “I’m not sure I understand but let’s discuss this later in more detail!”

Did I feel flummoxed? Yes. (More like “sniped”.)

Have you ever been in the same situation? Or felt like you have been put on-the-spot, your mind frozen and you open your mouth to end up just blabbing?

You are not alone!

Many business professionals, across the globe and all types of industries, find themselves put on-the-spot. Not only in business meetings or presentations, it can be on the way to lunch when you bump into your team-lead in the lift.

So how do I answer that ‘on-the-spot’ question?

Today

I found the answer after having attended the two-day Think on Your Feet® workshop. It opened my eyes to a set of practical tools and techniques that I could use in my work and personal life. Using these tools enabled me to get my message across confidently and clearly with no doubt about my answer.

In the future

Here’s a little insight into what I learned and what you could be gaining too:

  • Breathe – Whenever you find yourself in a tricky or stressful situation always remember to breathe, most people think something as simple as this cannot possibly help but it makes the world of difference. It ensures you maximise your headspace and gives you that extra minute to gather your thoughts calmly.
  • “Clear speaking is clear thinking” – Structure and planning are key elements of the workshop. Structure links both sides of the brain, the right side introducing creativity and content to your message, the left packaging the facts and ideas together. With both sides working together to foster three vital message virtues – Clarity, Brevity and Impact.

Brain left analytical and right creative hemispheres

  • Three is the magic number – Breaking down what you want to say into three parts makes it easier to remember, simpler for the listener to take in and has a rhythmical flow. This was my ‘eureka moment’, I’ve found this works really well for me and has improved my confidence. Here’s an example of just one of six Think on Your Feet® ways of doing this: I break down my content into three sections, taking each point and describing them in order of time – before, then and now. Just like I have done for you in the layout of this article: a month ago; today; and in the future.

Think on Your Feet®
I no longer puzzle over “How do I answer that?” Think on Your Feet® has taught me how to think about and structure my answer confidently. The tools and techniques I learnt took away the ‘how’ and gave me the time and ammunition needed to think and speak without any doubts. Find out more about the workshop…

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About Ragini Krishnadas

Ragini Krishnadas is an Events Coordinator for Indigo Business Services, a UK based training and development company operating internationally. Indigo is a European Distributor for Edward de Bono, MDC Training and the Think on Your Feet® suite of training solutions. Ragini has a full honours degree in Law however after finishing her studies she followed her passion and has worked in the Events/Training industry in a range of commercial organisations. Ragini lives in West London and is a fully trained classical Bharatanatyam dancer who enjoys performing arts and teaching others.