Watched a chief address the troops.  After a rather one-sided soliloquy and a tame/easy Q&A (planted?), Head Honcho ended with the statement, “I hope I hit some of the high points that you wanted to hear…”  There are lots of things to hope for: world peace, sunny weekends, snow at Christmas, the Astros winning the World Series, negative test results from the doctor, and the idea that maybe one day kids will clean their rooms without prodding.  But getting a message across should not grace that list.Before any message, a presenter MUST determine (as best they can) what the audience wants to hear.  Then the only challenge is to deliver.  But giving a message with only ‘hope’ of hitting the target begs for advice from the greatest philosophical movie of all time (The Princess Bride): “Get used to disappointment.”  When it comes to getting the message across, chance, hope, and good fortune are not the methods of choice.If the audience’s desired message is not known, posture as one who wants to know what they want, not one that has something to give and expects them to take it (and like it).

Deliver the message that meets the need.

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