Get to the point


The best presenters don’t begin their presentation by welcoming the audience or telling them they’re going to get a lot out the presentation. They start their presentation.

That’s what people came to hear and they let them hear it.

They start by saying something important or remarkable. Or they tell a story or ask a question. In the first few seconds, they get the audience involved.

If they have announcements or promotions, if they want to introduce themselves, they save it for later—after they’ve got people listening and nodding their heads, glad they showed up.

Because if they don’t, the audience will tune out. And think about the work they need to finish or the errand they need to run on their way home.

Good speakers get to the point.

The same is true of good writers.

One of the best writing tips I’ve ever heard was to get rid of the “throat clearing”–the filler at the start of your article, post, report or email.

The purpose of the first sentence is to get them to read the second sentence. If that first sentence doesn’t hook ’em, like the audience at a presentation, the reader will tune out.

Yes, there are exceptions. Occasions where a little warm up or background is appropriate. But those are exceptions.

The default: get to the point.