Chapter 1

Why Brevity Is Vital

Long story, short. Executives are busy, and your rambling presentation gets lost in their daily flood of information.

Get to the Point or Pay the Price

You cannot afford to miss the boat on brevity. It's the difference between success and failure. And if you think you've already got it covered, you're wrong.

I've spoken with hundreds of leaders and executives over 20 years and heard countless stories about how someone's inability to get to the point quickly spelled disaster. The dysfunction is real, immediate, and lasting.

Here are a few examples.

  • General dismissal: A field-grade Army officer uses a series of PowerPoint slides to deliver a brief to his superiors on a recommended strategic course of action. He watches his presentation unravel as a high-ranking general obsessed with details spends the entire time feverishly highlighting every single typographical error on the handout. The officer lost his audience in the minutiae.
  • A rising star stalls: A brilliant young woman who looks as if she is right out of Central Casting—bright, talented, and attractive—is widely recognized by senior leadership as the future go-to person. Her fatal flaw is well known, however: she cannot close big deals because she cannot shut up. Her motormouth bars her from any client-facing assignments.
  • Done deal comes undone: After closing a $500,000 contract with a new client, a sales executive is shocked to discover that his overenthusiastic support person has followed ...

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