Mon, Jan 06, 2014

Bottom Lining

I am an incredibly impatient person. Maybe I have ADHD — I don’t know. What I do know though is that people who ramble make me fidgety: You lose me when you answer a question with a seemingly endless flow of strung together words and sentences.

And I know that I am not alone.

Recently I spoke to a few VC friends of mine — and they all mentioned the same thing: Too many of the entrepreneurs they meet tend to ramble and thus, in the process, lose the person they are talking to. Which is a shame — as I am sure a lot of these entrepreneurs have actually decent ideas worth listening to.

In coaching we have a concept called Bottom Lining: Conveying the essence of the story, without going through all the messy details first.

The concept is easy to grok and hard to do. In your next business meeting, when you feel the urge to repeat yourself or go on a tangent — STOP. Pick the essence of what you want to say, front load it and STOP. See what happens. Chances are your argument becomes clearer and more concise.

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