Power-Up Newsletter 14

Isn’t it strange that meetings have a standard time period?

It’s either an hour, 30 minutes or a 15-minute catchup.

I once worked at a company where the standard meeting length was an hour. If you needed to get anything done, you’d have to get into the calendars and book your meeting weeks in advance. This environment had a big meeting culture.

The next company I worked for had a standard meeting length of 30 minutes. Obviously, this meant I spoke a whole lot faster 😂. But, more importantly, it forced me to be better prepared.

I no longer had the luxury of spelling the story out. I had to get to the point.

It made me a better communicator, more empathetic and compassionate towards the audience.

Decisions were also taken much faster here. So you only booked a meeting when it was really serious.

It reminds me of Parkinson’s Law:

“Work will expand to fill the time allotted for its completion”

I think ol’ Parkinson meant to write “Meetings” instead of “Work”.

On the other side of the spectrum, Bill Gates is known to schedule his entire day in 15-minute increments 🤯

The sheer amount of work that must go into managing his calendar must be extraordinary.

But it puts into perspective the value of time.

Time is the finite resource we take most for granted. Each one of us only has a set amount of time on this earth, with our loved ones, doing meaningful work, getting our points across and having an impact.

And this same constraint applies to the audience sitting in your next presentation. We often forget that there are people on the receiving end with the same objectives.

So when we have an opportunity to share something meaningful, it’s important to get that message across as fast as possible… irrespective of the allocated meeting time.

“I realised that focused attention is one of the rarest things in the world, and that an audience is giving a lot when they devote their full attention to your work for two hours. There is only so much focus available in a given work, and it seems the more elements you take out of a composition, the more focus is poured into those that remain. Cutting lines, pauses, and entire scenes sharpened the focus on the elements that were left, as if a large number of diffuse spotlights had been concentrated into a few bright beams aimed at select important points.”

– Christopher Vogler, The Writer’s Journey

Chances are that the contents of your next presentation can be made leaner and meaner. There are definitely things you can take out that do not add to the key message.

That cool animation, that additional chart you’re not too sure about or that fancy new icon you used just because.

Remove whatever is not necessary.

Brevity, clarity and focus will shine the bright beams on your key message. Keep the main thing the main thing and you will make your slides and the time count!

Are your presentations more Boring than Brilliant?

Is there a particular area that you currently struggle with? Let me know with a reply and I will create a lesson just for you 🏆

That’s all for Edition #14. Hope you have a fantastic week!

✌️ + ppt


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