Say Less and Convey More

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When you’re giving a presentation and nervousness kicks in, it’s tough to be brief. But, your audience expects you to state your conclusion and stand behind it, not ramble on aimlessly. You can only do that if you zero in on the purpose. When you prepare for your talk, work backwards. Before you put anything down on paper, know the key message you want your audience to remember. Ask yourself: If my presentation were 30 seconds instead of 30 minutes, what would I say? Force yourself to summarize your key point. Once you’ve done that, think through what other information you’ll need to support that point.

Adapted from “In Presentations, Learn to Say Less” by Ron Ashkenas.

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