Why are we so terrible at briefing teams at events; Simple we do it for them and not for us. The seven things to remember:

  1. Having spoken to all levels of management about briefing delivery it is clear that many thoughts and ideas are apparent across the team. However, no two are really the same. Clarification must be sought firstly on what the outcome of the briefing should be and secondly what the purpose of the briefing is.
  2. The purpose of a briefing is to convey as succinctly as possible the key information points to all members of the team and to create a cascade that is both memorable and unforgettable. To do this one has to create a structure which can be replicated from briefing to briefing but not become stale so that those receiving them no longer pay attention to these key delivery points to the team.
  3. The outcome of the briefing is slightly different. The outcome should be to create a short functional excerpt of the main plan which provides key generic elements about the event which everyone must remember to enable them to carry out their role properly.
  4. The top team briefing should take into consideration an extended brief. In that briefing document; which should be typed for clarity, are a maximum of seven either underlined, capitalised, italicised or colour coded points that must be included in every brief given during the cascade.
  5. It may be; as the author has found in arenas, that the top-level briefing is four to five pages but the cascade brief is seven points/areas embellished by the briefing manager to include personalised details and idiosyncrasies that help the specific teams to absorb the main points of the cascaded briefing.
  6. Remember one thing, people get bored, people don’t listen, people’s attention span may only be three minutes, our brains can only take a maximum of seven commands in at any one time, so all of that detail is not needed, its only for you not them and it does not mean great results.
  7. Once the briefing is given it is also good practice to furnish those at the briefing with one side of A4 with the seven initial points on, so that they can if necessary refer to it later in the evening. And yes, there are only seven points in this note.


Professor Chris Kemp is CEO of Mind over Matter Consultancy and works with world leaders in their fields running Extreme Corporate Away Days for leaders and managers, as well as Executive Education and Team Development programmes.

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