Sep 262011

My girlfriend “Martha” goes on and on. Her stories are so jammed with unimportant details that it’s hard not to lose interest. In college, we used to interrupt her mid-story and ask for the “Cliffs Note” version. Thirty years later, we’ve given up; we just tune her out.

Being brief is a challenge for many of us, and no where is it more important to be brief than in business. Author Ron Hoff shows us how to get our point across clearly and succinctly in his little book Say It in Six: How to Say Exactly What You Mean in Six Minutes or Less.

One: “Let’s get right to the point.  Here’s what we need to discuss….” (30 seconds)

Two: “Here’s a quick overview of the situation….” (60 seconds)

Three: “This lead to an idea….” (120 seconds)  Make the idea tangible by holding up something that they can touch – a model, storyboard, color proposal, or something!

Four: “This idea will more than pay for itself. Here’s the payoff….” (120 seconds)

Five: ”Here’s what we need from you to get going….” (30 seconds)  Tell your audience it’s their decision to make, and you want to hear what they think about your idea.