One Mold Doesn’t Fit All

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    When presenting documentation for approval, adjustments have to be made even if there is a set standard and style guide that lends itself to mold out documentation in a unified format.

    Sometimes you have to make the adjustments and customize for the client, as not all clients are the same. They may prefer different ways to present what they want, especially to their own stakeholders, employees, or clients, etc. They may accept your explanations or reasoning behind what is presented, but they know their stakeholders best and may say ‘yes, ……’but’….For cases like these, bend the rules and go with whatever the clients wishes, as in the end, it is their choice.

    They know their business better than you do and know how the business operates better than you do, so let them finalize, revise, organize, and handle their own forms of written communication. They may have their own communication department and their own standards or traditions to abide by; in other words, they have their own branding to maintain.

    What I just described probably falls in the arena of a technical writing consulting communication position. The basis or foundation that you offer can be provided, but then in the end, it is up to the individual or company that you are working with or for. Some companies may just accept what you present and like it. But just as a precaution, prepare for more than one presentation. Be adaptable. Be prepared to change paths as you are speaking and presenting to them. The best way to accomplish this is to rehearse prior to communicating with them and play out different scenarios in your mind ahead of time.

    Have you seen that show on television where improvisation takes place? Well you should apply the same techniques when you can. If you are relaxed and are confident and knowledgeable about your work, then you will have no problem. I find that if you are happy or have just laughed at a joke, then you are in a good mood with endorphins rolling in and will have that extra confidence. The audience will like how you are speaking and smiling and thereby exhibiting a lot of energy and vitality. It in turn puts the audience at ease and in a good mood. As a result an informal Q and A can occur where energetic atmospheres are brought about and in turn allows for a- good brainstorming session as well. When this situation arises, more creative ideas can be brought forth.

    Even if you think you know your audience pretty well, they may have other priorities or a different agenda that they have to stick to. So when presenting your documentation, have available with you various documentation formats to see which the audience prefers. Be adaptable, confident, and be prepared and ready.

    If you have had to make a presentation and have experienced being adaptable and making last minute adjustments, please share your experiences.