“Communication is the engine that drives your business success”

                                                                                 - Roberta Prescott


 

HOME

EXECUTIVE
COACHING

COMMUNICATION SKILLS SEMINARS

Speaking Made Easy

Presenting to Decision Makers

Advanced  
Presentation Skills

Executive Presence
Roundtable


Communicating For 
Results



NEWSLETTERS

ABOUT US

The Prescott Group

The Principals

Client Quotes

CONTACT US

 


NEWSLETTERS


Cut To The Chase -- PLEASE!
by Roberta Prescott

Do you take too long to explain an issue or make a point? Do you ever get to the point? Do you know so much about a topic that you don't know what to leave out -- so you talk faster to try and get it all in?

EXCESS WORDS DILUTE YOUR IMPACT.

Why do people over explain?

  • They get mired in details
  • They talk while they’re thinking
  • They feel they’re not being thorough if they don’t tell you everything
  • It’s easier.  A short focused message takes time to design

At many high level meetings, the key listeners are NOT interested in:

  • A lengthy background
  • How it works
  • How you figured out a solution
  • All the facts and data

What they want are:

  • The most pertinent and essential details in order to make a decision
  • What’s the business outcome
  • What’s your interpretation of the facts
  • What are your conclusions

It takes discipline to be succinct.  You must synthesize information and condense, not expand; and you need a crisp delivery style to reinforce your message.

1. DESIGN A LEAN CLEAR MESSAGE

  • Think it through, or write it down, before speaking.
  • Let go of the details.  Edit, edit, edit.
  • Give us the 2-minute synopsis, not the 10-minute monologue.
  • Get to the nub of the issue quickly and make your point.
  • Address these questions:

    • What is my position / opinion / point of view?
    • What's in it for them?  The benefits?
    • What do I want?  Buy-in?  A decision?  Input?
    • What action is required?

  • Put your core message in headline form.
    • "I see no risk to the program right now."
    • "We are not in a cost plus business"
    • "We have 2 years to maintain a strategic advantage."
    • "I'm dealing with 3 crises, and I need your help on 2."

  • Use key phrases to flag important information.

    • "Here's what I did, and this is what I learned."
    • "Our overall results are ... 
    • "The significant point is ... "
    • "This is what I think, and why I'm thinking that way ... "
    • "This is what needs to be done, and here's why ... 
    • "The cost savings will be ... 
    • "The engine / product is ready to go because ... "
    • "This is what we need to do, how we're going to do it, what resources we'll need and how much it  will cost.”

  • Don't
  • Go off on tangents.  You'll be perceived as rambling.
  • Go through a list of tasks item by item without differentiating the ones that are mission critical

2.    DELIVER YOUR MESSAGE CRISPLY

  • Shorten the length of your sentences.  (On average 14-17 words).
  • Add short punchy sentences among your longer ones.
    • e.g.,  " ... our research indicates that our 3 strongest competitors plan to buy new business short-term by lowering their price.  HERE'S WHAT WE NEED TO DO ... "
  • Kill the connectors “and”, “but” and “so”.  They cause endlessly long sentences.
  • Eliminate filler phrases such as "to say that another way ... "
  • Pause to set up an important point.  e.g.,  "This is what we've done ... AND IT SAVED ...

These tips will give your words impact and authority.

© The Prescott Group

Back to top of page


© The Prescott Group
60 Loeffler Road, Suite P110       
T: (860) 726-2240 C: (860) 798-3190   Fax: (860)243-2567
www.theprescottgroup.com