Keep it simple

I remember my husband asking me a simple question when I was working late on preparing for a presentation I was struggling with. He did not work in my industry, and he asked me what the point of my presentation was. I opened my mouth to answer him, and before I could speak, he said, “AND! Tell me in a way I can understand. Ten words, max.”


In managing others, especially people who had 2-5 years under their belt, it got really hard to get them out of their own jargon. It was a crutch for some. Heck, it was a crutch for me once upon a time. It got to the point where I asked the people I managed to complete entire deliverables and presentations without using certain “crutch” words.

Wow! Was that hard!

But it’s a good lesson in simplification. If the mid-level manager could prepare an entire presentation without using certain “crutch” words that had very little substantive meaning, and the point still came across well, then I let them put the words back in if they really felt the meaning would be better served with it.

Often, they didn’t put the words back in.

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