Why brevity with senior execs is so important
“1. Most people with power would like to use it wisely, if someone believable would tell them how. 2. They know that any proposal having to do with their business can be stated clearly and completely in less than one minute. Why not help them out? When you know your subject cold and have a conviction, make the pitch orally. Stay under a minute. Avoid all props and end with a request for action.” This except is from the book, Further up the organisation, by Robert Townsend, in 1970, on a page entitled, ‘Brevity’.
The message is as relevant today, as it was 41 years ago. The biggest complaint of my senior, speech communication and sales presentation client of their junior reports is that they give too much preamble prior to telling their key message. In general the more senior the person(s) that you’re presenting/pitching to, the briefer you should be. Of course you need ‘to know your subject cold’ as Townsend advises. Conviction means that you project energy and certainty through your voice, face and body.
The ‘How to apply’ for this post: In the next seven day in your ‘pitches’ aim to deliver them in under one minute, with conviction.