Aha! Moment Monday
A hundred or so of us went through an exercise recently to narrow down our mission to a few carefully chosen words. Honestly … it took hours.
Drilling it down to a couple of crafted sentences that spoke clearly to whom we were, what we were doing and who we were doing it for was nothing short of agonizing for many. It wasn’t because of the number of us – we worked in small groups – but because our visions were big with so many moving parts and wins. Most everyone wanted everyone else to see their big picture in its entirety.
Now I’ll admit that I have a tendency to want to share the whole story (everyone who knows me is happy to see this admission in writing); it’s rare that I’d say, “To make a long story short …. “, and I’ve proven to myself that while I think I’m being abundantly clear by including applicable details, it takes longer to make my point.
Have you attended meetings where there is so much random sharing that someone is compelled to say, “Well, it all boils down to this …. “, and you can actually get to the heart of the matter?
Can you complicate matters swimming in that sea of detail?
Aha! ~ Make it a practice to simplify and summarize.
I attended a webinar on social media strategy and it was 20 minutes of foundation, 20 minutes of education and 30 minutes of (what I will call) selling. I finally rang off though it wasn’t done.
It’s easier to make a 1.5 hour presentation than it is to make a 15- minute presentation but here’s the really ironic part: like my 55-minute webinar, they all only hold a few key points! Edit. Edit. Edit.
In “The Unwritten Laws of Business”, the authors suggest the art of simplifying and summarizing is not a skill but a habit. Some people allow themselves to get immersed in a “sea of detail” while others can “…withdraw to a suitable vantage point to survey a mass of facts in their proper perspective.”
“…. withdraw to a suitable vantage point ….”; that means elevating yourself to see the bigger picture, extract what’s important then summarize that in a value statement or call-to-action.
The authors’ advice? “Cultivate the habit of “boiling matters down” to their simplest terms.” A habit that will surely get you buy-in faster.
As Dragnet’s Detective Sergeant, Joe Friday, used to say, “Just the facts, Ma’am, just the facts.”
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