Genuine Curiosity

Author Dwayne Melancon is always on the lookout for new things to learn. An ecclectic collection of postings on personal productivity, travel, good books, gadgets, leadership & management, and many other things.


Get to the point

Got a presentation or message to deliver? Get to the point. To get the message to a more "crisp" state, here is a tip that helps me:

If the message, slide deck, or document is running too long, I pretend I have to deliver the message in half the time. I then go through a process that goes something like this:

  1. Decide on 3 to 5 main points you want your audience to remember.
  2. Print out the content (working from hard copy helps for the next step).
  3. Go through the content and highlight key points.
  4. Discard any content that is not essential to delivering and supporting your 3-5 points.
  5. If you find any points that don't directly support the main points, but you feel they are too important to delete:

    • Use the "So what?" test to figure out whether each point warrants an exception, or whether I feel compelled to add another main point.

It pays to be aggressive during this process, particularly when you identify and remove embellishments, non-critical modifiers, and other "fluff" from the message.

You, your message, and your audience will all benefit from this approach..

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