Nothing informs the future of business communication quite like the need for brevity in meetings and presentations.

Brevity is not simply about using less time or saying less, it’s about being efficient with your communications. It’s about identifying the meaningful, meaty parts of your content and delivering those without unnecessary fluff, background or side points.

Brevity requires you to prepare, prioritize, and package your material. Prioritizing is the key here.

A couple of #Brevity tips:

  1. Serve dessert first: If you have a takeaway or call to action, don’t save it for the end, deliver it up front (the ultimate priority!). It helps set context and expectations, which are important for holding onto audience attention.
  2. Go modular: Build your presentation in chunks rather than in a narrative so you can remain adaptable. You might be reading your audience and want to jump to only the most important chunks (prioritizing again!), or your time might be cut short unexpectedly. Chunks leave you prepared and nimble.
  3. Know your big fish and little fish: Within those presentation chunks, know your main points or big fish (this requires you to … yep, prioritize your material) and your supporting information or little fish. Big fish come first. Leading or inundating with lots of little fish, or too much information, is overwhelming to both speaker and audience.

Even if attention spans were infinite, which we know they’re not, brevity is more efficient, which is valued and appreciated in any workplace!

Beth Levine