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Updated: Sep 23, 2020

When our kids started school, the choice of what to bring for show and tell was VERY IMPORTANT.

In those first weeks, the items chosen were precious, and the story told about them had deep relevance to the little one who bravely stood at the front of the class with the item in their hand.

Our son loved Thomas, the Tank Engine.

If allowed, he would choose him every week.

Jump to months later and typically we would be running out the door, screaming just grab anything!!!”

We were telling this story to some teacher friends, and they said that these later stories were often quite hilarious, and they learned a whole lot more about the family of the child than was necessary!


Do you remember your anticipation of a new project starting, a new course of study, a new relationship, joining a new company or team, or your first Executive, Council or Board meeting?

Do you remember how you prepared for those interactions? How you thought about what messages you sent by what you wore, how you arrived and your body language?

A lot of my clients are running from one meeting to the next, with barely time to close or click off and run to the bathroom, let alone eat lunch, go for a walk, or heaven-forbid prepare thoroughly for the next meeting.

Whether you are well into your marathon project, waiting to get out of lockdown, having Deja vu in team meetings, or going over the same arguments with your work or home family, how are you showing up now, and what is that telling about you?

You know it’s coming.

You think I’m going to say that you need to show up as your best self, just like you did in those heady early days – yadayadayada.


Anyone who has done my Presenting for Results or Speak Up! program will know that I continuously say (and they aren’t my words they are the words of Dr Stephanie Burns who wrote “Artistry in Training").

"You manage the meaning before others get a chance to."

This means you have to both show as well as tell.

If you’ve had a rough night with the kids, got some bad news from your previous appointment, or you just haven’t done the work to show, then you explain that.

The most powerful thing you can do is make sure your tell is more than just impersonal facts or possible excuses; but linked to realistic actions that will ensure any promises you have made will actually be met.

Of course, I would suggest that if the meeting is important, it's a good idea to do everything you can to be 'your best self' so that there is congruence with the words you are telling to the way you have showed up.

And finally, now more than ever, consider the opportunity to bravely show pride.

Be proud of showing up with a smile, be excited to tell how that thing you or your team have done has benefited your organisation and your clients.

When you manage the meaning before others do, you provide your leaders, or key stakeholder's with a script that enables them to promote you and your team when speaking with others. This will grow your influence and begin to create a pathway for helping you continue to get the results that are important to you.

Take care until next time.


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