Chapter 3. Frontload: First Things Fast

Quickly Nail What's Relevant to the Listener

Frontloading is my term for quickly nailing what's relevant to your listener, so they immediately grasp what's in it for them and don't tune you out. It's the antidote to rambling.

You're in the office, sleeves rolled up, and ready to face the day. With the wind at your back, you accomplish task after task. Then, screeeech . . . halt. In walks a rambler. He secretes his poison: "Do you have a sec? Um, you know, I've been thinking. On Wednesday, when you said . . . or was it Tuesday? I think it was Tuesday, but maybe it was even Thursday. Blah, blah, blah . . . " blah On and on he blathers, jumping from one tangent to another. Before he showed up, you were Peyton Manning driving for a touchdown, but you just got sacked.

Ramblers force you to wade through their long-winded, tedious digressions before they get to their point—if they actually have one. Your mind wanders as they jabber away. You're bored silly and just want to be put out of your misery.

The question is, are you that person? Do you ramble or otherwise belabor points, triggering others to tune you out? If so, frontloading is the solution.

The Solution to Rambling

Mark, a vice president of a global manufacturer, was a deliberate perfectionist and an accidental rambler. His failure to deliver succinct messages turned his executive team off. They felt he was hijacking their meetings with his endless belaboring of points. Even worse, when his points ...

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