The Importance of Setting Expectations, Correctly

This morning I was listening to a webinar.

I’d read the advert telling me what I would learn, and I signed up.

I’d duly read the follow-up communications reminding me what it was about and when to tune in, and so had my expectations set around what I was going to learn.

I’d been told I was going to learn “how to create and deliver a webinar”.


I’m pretty interested in webinars and am considering delivering some myself in the future.

I’d like to help more people learn about communication and how to connect with their audience in an authentic, memorable way.

In a way that makes a difference to both parties.

I care about that stuff.


So while on the webinar this morning, I was really interested to learn about how to create and deliver a webinar.

But guess what?

Expectations; communication; authenticity

It didn’t tell me how to create and deliver a webinar!

Imagine my surprise.

I was told (almost an hour though the webinar) that the purpose of this webinar was really to tell me what would be covered in a separate session that tells me how!

Even though at the start of the webinar it said you’d learn how!

I learned that if I wanted to know how to deliver a webinar I ought to sign up to this programme at £xx, or that programme at $xxx.

How do you think that made me feel?



I felt cheated; misled.

Like a bit of a mug.

I really wanted to believe what I’d read. I’d read I would be told how. 

I know a lot of people run webinars to generate leads. They teach you a bit of information, and then ask you to sign up to learn more, at a cost.

I get it.

But don’t tell me one thing and then do another.

I lost respect for the person delivering the webinar, I lost trust.

That’s quite a lot of feelings right there, all because I was told one thing, and experienced another.

The good old “Say / Do” gap. There it was, right in my face.

Had my expectations been set correctly in the first place, I would have felt differently.


Having worked in business change, communications and engagement for many years, I have found myself bleating on about the say/do gap hundreds of times.

And it really does make a difference to how people feel about you and your business.

And feelings matter.

It can be the difference between whether people trust you, follow or believe in you (as a leader), or want to do business with you.

You can still be successful in business, in fact I would argue more successful in business, if you act with integrity; and if you communicate with authenticity.

That’s how you build relationships, trust and truly connect with people.

In my opinion it is a much nicer way to do business than misleading people.

Being authentic doesn’t mean you have to be perfect, far from it. It just means you have to be true to yourself and your values, and follow through on that.

It also means you are likely to create more meaningful, lasting, connections with your audience.

I appreciate we all make mistakes from time to time. Perhaps we don’t intend to mislead people.

So it is worth checking and asking yourself, before you communicate and take action, is there a say/do gap here?

It could make all the difference.


All the best


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