Should you tell your audience that you aren’t prepared to speak?
First, there is no acceptable excuse for not being prepared to speak. You should always be prepared to speak about the messages that are important to you and your organization. Sometimes you might be given only a few minutes notice. That’s why you must always be prepared to speak about your key messages.
You will only be asked to speak about issues that people believe you are qualified to speak about.
This means that you might need to write notes for yourself about your important messages. Even if you are unexpectedly invited to speak, you have your notes to review in the minutes before you speak.
You might be asked to update the group on your latest project. Perhaps you were asked to say a few words about the current challenge. Maybe the team expects to hear some words of encouragement.
Assume that you might be asked to speak at any time about the things that you are working on.
Sometimes it could be as simple as stating, “Here’s what happened. Here’s what we’ve learned. Here’s what we do next”.
Instead of confessing, “I haven’t really prepared anything.” Start with “Thank you for this opportunity to update you”.