Learning, I’m usually a bottom-liner. I want to know what I’m supposed to learn and right now, please. I don’t need seven examples illustrating the point or three case studies about people who implemented this new process or idea.
With business books I’ll usually check the end of the chapters looking for a summary of what lesson was supposed to be taken away from the chapter and a suggestion or two for how to implement the key learnings.
On podcasts or webinars it’s the same thing. Who needs 15 minutes of telling me why what I’m about to learn is important or why the trainer/speaker is qualified to tell me this information? If I didn’t think it was important or that the trainer was qualified I wouldn’t be listening/watching in the first place.
But it’s a different – and possibly tedious – story when I’m talking. Being a talk to thinker (you can read more about this here – and see what you are) I lean toward saying more than needs to be said getting to my point. I’m working on that by pausing before talking – assessing when I can say less. If you’re like me, you might consider the “pause” too.
Here are five instances when you might be able to get to the point more quickly, saving yourself and others time and probably annoyance, too.
- Email – It can take a long while to craft a long email that probably won’t get read in its entirety anyway. People – including you – don’t read long emails. Can you get to the point more quickly?
- Phone calls – Chit chat is great when it’s helping to build relationships but does yours go on too long? How much time do you spend in meandering conversation before you get to the meat of the call?
- Voice mails – If you haven’t thought about what you’ll say if you get voice mail instead of the live person, there’s a tendency to ramble. Take 30 seconds before the call to nail down key points to leave on the recording.
- Meetings – People love having the floor so it’s easy to be a hog about it. How little can you say to get your point across? Be careful not to state the same point several ways or everyone around the conference table will stop thinking about the idea you’re sharing and focus more on how much they wish you would stop sharing it already.
- Details in general – How much backstory do people need to get the gist of what you’re saying? Have you ever told stories or recounted experiences and inadvertently tossed in so much superfluous detail that you bored yourself? Or this dog? Include only details critical to the point.
By the way…
These blog posts are in the hundreds of words but I share a weekly tip with subscribers that’s short and takes under two minutes to read. One succinct idea to help you be more focused, accomplish more, communicate better and be happier. It’s aptly titled, Get to the Point! You can sign up for that here.