Being asked to give a speech is a great honor. Being asked to give a speech that is going to deliver bad news to part or all of business is not such an honor. However, in order to be a truly good speaker, this is exactly the type of speech that you need to be able to step up and give. The keys are knowing how to organize this type of speech and what not to say…
When you’ve been asked to give bad news to people who work for a business, how you organize the information that you are going to be delivering is very important. Your audience is going to know why you are there so you are going to want to get to the main point of your speech as quickly as possible.
Kathy Berger has looked into how bad business news can be structured when it is delivered. She’s come up with four pillars of information that always need to be included in this type of presentation:
- Neutral Statement: Before you launch into delivering bad news to your audience, you’ll want to take steps to get them to see the world the way that you currently see it. The best way to make this happen is to start your speech off with a neutral statement that everyone can agree with. This can be a simple observation of how things currently stand.
- Bad News: Now is the time to deliver the bad news. You don’t want to put this off because your audience is expecting and anticipating this news and if you delay giving it to them, then they won’t be able to focus on anything else that you say until you do. You need to keep this very short – strip out all unnecessary words and simply focus on saying the bad thing that is going to happen.
- Impact: Bad news is just bad news. What’s really important to your audience is what this news means for them. If you don’t tell them, they’ll make it up on their own. This is why after you relay the bad news to them you need to quickly follow this up with clear statements that let your audience know how their world is going to change because of the bad news.