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Produce Powerful Presentations (Collection) by Jerry Weissman

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7. Presentation Advice from Mark Twain: Brevity Takes Time

The celebrated American author Mark Twain was also a most prolific writer. Amazon lists more than 12,000 books consisting of various editions of Mr. Twain’s own works and works about him. So great was his output that his quotes alone—some actual, some apocryphal—have even more references on the Internet than do his books.

One of his most famous quotes, which is quite applicable to presentations, came from an exchange Mr. Twain had with his publisher. The publisher sent the author a telegram reading:

NEED 2-PAGE SHORT STORY [IN] TWO DAYS.

The writer sent back a telegram reading:

NO CAN DO 2 PAGES TWO DAYS. CAN DO 30 PAGES 2 DAYS. NEED 30 DAYS TO DO 2 PAGES.F7.1

Mr. Twain’s pithy nineteenth-century ...

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