Ready for a good summer shortcut to being really effective in a meeting or presentation? Here it is:  Think like an audience member.

How, you ask? Well, here’s what your audience is thinking but not saying out loud: Cut to the chase, please! Spare me all that info, just tell me what you want me to know! Yep, that’s what they’re thinking. You’ve thought the very same thing when others are speaking or leading a meeting, so you can pretty much assume others will be thinking it when you’re speaking or leading a meeting.

So, given your topic or your purpose for the meeting, take a preemptive strike and imagine that someone in the audience told you to cut to the chase. What would you say? Once you’ve thought of that, jot it down, and clean it up a bit, and voilà, you have your opening and closing comments. In the middle you can offer up some background information your audience may need, but only as much as they have the appetite for, so be careful with that!

Bottom line? Just cut to the chase. Everyone will be happier. Everything will be clearer. And all will be well. 

Beth Levine