Published: June 6, 2014
Once Upon A Time…
…in a faraway kingdom, there was a salesman who traveled the countryside, peddling his wares. Everyone loved his product except the evil king, who wanted to do away with it. One day the king said, “This product is ruining my kingdom and I want to destroy it. If anyone has a reason for why this product should live, let him come hither and speak now.” Out of the crowd came a voice. “I think this product is great and I can prove it,” said the brave salesman. “Then come to my palace tomorrow morning and prove to me why this is so,” said the king. And so the salesman went home and prepared PowerPoint slide after PowerPoint slide filled with endless statistics and dizzying market projection graphs.
The next morning, the salesman turned up at the palace. “Show me why I should spare your miserable product,” said the king. The salesmen opened his trusty laptop and started to plow through his heaping deck of slides. Starting with a company background, the salesman went on to show market trend graphs, customer case studies, and then analyst quotes. The king began to squirm on his throne. When a return on investment spreadsheet appeared on slide 47, the king finally had enough. “Off with your head,” said the king. “Originally, I only wanted to kill your product, but this presentation is criminal.”’
Say More With Less
This tale originally told in Forbes doesn’t need much elaboration. You’re busy; we all are. Get your message across to fuel a sale in less than a minute, no longer – especially online. You must:
- Get to the point. Start with the takeaway.
- Stay brief.
- Be creative.
- Use vivid language and compelling images.
- Remain mindful of people’s busy lives.
“Brevity is a choice. When you want to get more, decide to say less. Those who want to succeed – even thrive – in an attention-deficit economy are masters of lean communication. They stand out, their ideas are seen and heard, their companies succeed.”
Decide that being brief is your non-negotiable standard.