12Instructions, Presentations, Proposals, and Resumes

“How do I know what I think until I see what I say?”

—E. M. Forster


OUR DAILY AND PROFESSIONAL LIVES are filled with instructions. There are instructions for using a power tool, installing the latest software, operating a cell phone, cooking dinner, installing a new sink, programming your VCR, and assembling your child’s bicycle, not to mention instructions from your spouse about what not to say in front of your in-laws. In business, your job might involve providing payment instructions for customers, shipping procedures for vendors, using new software, adhering to hiring policies, completing questionnaires, or submitting proposals.

Who among us hasn’t tossed a set of instructions ...

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