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Review Meeting Questions

1 min

Questions arising from review meetings can be daunting, especially when the meeting involves senior leaders/executives. Here are four tips to help you successfully navigate these situations:

1️⃣ Know your Material: This sounds self-evident, however, there is a difference between knowing your material and really knowing your material. See that table you added in Appendix 1, last row, why did the metric go down in the month of May? Any content you include can be questioned, so make sure you know it inside out.

2️⃣ Be Direct: When a question is asked, lead with a direct answer then elaborate. Unfortunately, more often than not, we tend to lead with a long-winded explanation instead of answering the question. This in turn frustrates the person asking the question and the group as a whole. Example: Are we on track to deliver the project by 6/30? Bad answer: Well, last week we had a deep dive with team Y, and we discussed...Good answer: No, we are not on track to deliver by 6/30. The main driver of the delay is XXX and our new launch timeline is 7/15.

3️⃣ Be Precise: Make sure that any statement you make is supported and ideally quantified. Otherwise, it either does not convince the person asking (or the group) or leaves room for misinterpretation. Example, in one of the review meetings I participated in a few years back, I made a statement in response that our system was highly scalable. While that was true within the reference of the organization I was part of, for the executive who was asking the question and had a much wider purview highly scalable was at least 10x of my reference scale.

4️⃣ Take Follow-ups: If you get asked a question for which you either don’t have an answer or are unsure of your answer - acknowledge this and promise an offline follow-up. Never make up an answer as it puts under question your integrity/trust and that of the work presented.