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Communicating When It Matters

Andy Bounds

9 November 2023

Andy Bounds is a sales, leadership and communications expert, award-winning consultant and international best-selling author.

Awarded the title ‘Britain’s Sales Trainer of the Year’, and described by AstraZeneca’s Global Communication Director as “a genius, whose advice can’t be ignored”, Andy’s insights stem from the fact his Mother is blind: this has given him a lifetime’s experience of communicating from someone else’s point of view, so critical when seeking to persuade others. We asked him to share with us his thoughts on how to communicate brilliantly.


Have you ever been on a workshop that you knew would change your life, then, put your notes in your desk drawer… Only to forget all about them?

The trouble with wanting to change how you act in certain situations is that, next time the situation arises, you might forget what you’d planned to change. This isn’t our fault.  After all, there isn’t much we can do if it doesn’t enter our head when it matters. Well, actually that’s wrong. It is our fault. We should have remembered. And the only way to remember when it matters is to have a reminder when it matters.

For example, let’s say you want to remember to include Calls To Action at the end of your emails.  That means you’ll need to remember when it matters – in other words, every time you’re emailing. This means you need a reminder every time you’re sending an email.

The solution?  Change your email autosignature. After all, you see it every time you send an email.  It makes it impossible for you to forget.  So now, instead of it saying “Cheers, Andy”, it now says “Our actions: XXX.  Cheers, Andy”. Your reminder is now front-of-mind, because it’s front-of-face.

See how it works?  All I did is ask myself “what am I looking at every time I do this thing I want to change?”; and then put my reminder there.

Other examples:

Want to smile more when you’re making presentations?  Well, your eyes will be looking at your presenter notes.  So write the word “smile” all over them.

Fed up with attending boring meetings that don’t have a desired outcome?  Change your standard meeting agenda templates – insert a box at the top, containing the heading “Desired outcomes”. Next time you print the agenda, you can’t miss it.

Want to remember to cover a few key points in a meeting?  Get the thing you’ll be making your notes on during the meeting – your pad, iPad, etc – and write a reminder on there.  The other person won’t mind.  And you won’t forget.

Got into the bad habit of turning up to meetings unprepared?  Put a recurring calendar reminder every Friday morning – “Preview next week’s meetings – for the ones I need to go to, do the prep now.  For the ones I don’t, decline now” (this is always a popular tip!).

I use the concept of “reminders when it matters” – Whenever you’ve an important communication – for example, say you’re attending a networking event – you listen to the video on the way to the event, get reminders of networking best-practices when it matters, press “pause”, and use them immediately.

This Tip is a good one. It’ll help you improve; without effort. In fact, I bet you’ll remember it for a few minutes.

But will you remember it when it matters?

Action Point

  • Identify one improvement you want to make (for example, to your emails)
  • Think what you’re looking at when you do this thing (your email auto-signature)
  • Put a reminder there so you always remember when it matters


For more information on Andy or our leadership development programmes, contact our dedicated team on 0203 137 7353 or email us at

Andy Bounds


Andy Bounds is a Sales, Leadership and Communication expert, award-winning consultant and international best-selling author.

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