Delivering bad news is never fun. In fact, some people will avoid it at all costs. The trouble is, the problems persists and people ignore it. Yet, that feeling of discomfort gnaws at you and consistently grows. Here, ignorance is not bliss, because it comes at a huge toll on people's sanity.
It is far better to create a culture that tells it like it is and puts problems and bad news out in the open.
Even if you're delivering bad news, it should still be considered a motivational speech. This is because your aim should be leave people in a positive place and not depress people. If you don't consider it a motivational speech, your presentation may evolve around bringing people down. After all, bad things can still produce needed change, so there is usually some good that can come out of bad news.
To deliver bad news, start by recognizing people for what works. Celebrate quirks, accomplishments and successes to bring down defenses and show you are aware of the big picture.
Never deliver bad news to people already on the defensive. More than likely, they will take it personally. Once the audience is properly primed, it's best to get right to the bad news. Like ripping off a band aid, get it over with quickly.
People will grow skeptical if you dance around the truth. Next, give the audience some time to soak it all in, while presenting next steps or repercussions.
Next, facilitate open and honest discussion about the news. Be accountable for next steps and agree to be transparent.
Finally, recognize the audience for what they have been through and are about to go through. Leave them in a positive note.