The Hidden Agenda 

In all talks there are two agendas: surface and hidden. The surface agenda is the subject of your talk.  It is in your slides. You say it out loud. The hidden agenda (e.g., get new hardware, influence the overall design to your liking, keep your job) is why you are really there. It is never spoken out loud.  It is not on the slides, but it is important to you. hidden

When you are presenting, if things start going badly and it is not clear what to do next, remember your hidden agenda. This can keep you from committing career suicide over a point you later realize was small potatoes. To be clear… Even when serving your hidden agenda, you have to tell the truth, be clear, and follow the data to its fortunate (or unfortunate) conclusion. In a tough spot, your hidden agenda can help you with emphasis, focus, balance between competing ideas, and when to gracefully concede to your opponent.

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