The Art of Getting to the Point
Sep 16, 2019
What does it mean? It means that we must get to what’s important, to what is really the heart of the message, and not talk just to hear ourselves talk, it means to focus on the basics, on the essential point.
On many occasions, I don’t know if it’s happened to you, you are talking with someone who goes around and around the issue and ends up not telling you what he or she wants to say, or maybe you find yourself in a situation that’s perhaps uncomfortable or complicated, and you don’t dare say things directly, and while trying to be “politically correct” or “polite”, you beat around the bush, or offer thousands of irrelevant explanations and end up not expressing what you had to say to begin with, or you say it after going around in circles for a while. How does this make you feel?.
In meetings at work for example, how much time do we waste going around in circles about just one issue? And not to digress too much, but in our personal lives, how much time do we waste doing a thousand things that are really not important and we lose valuable time we could be focusing on what truly is. That is, we don’t get to the point.
We have some tips to learn to get to the point:
- Don’t offer too many explanations. Put yourself in the place of the person you are communicating with and ask yourself, what information do they really need to know about the subject at hand? Keep your communication brief and get to the point rapidly
- While preparing your presentation, use the 6 important questions: Who, What, When, Where, How and Why, try it and you’ll see the results. Focus on facts instead of feelings.
- Replace words with images, either draw them (you don’t need to be a great artist to express your ideas with images) or show them with videos or photographs. The important point here is visual aids.
- Take advantage of the power of pauses. Making a pause within your presentation allows the other person to absorb what you are saying and also to ask questions about the subject. Ask questions yourself to make sure that the subject has been understood and the objective reached.
- Practice what you’re going to present, make a visual map of your ideas, where in your mind you draw the points you will speak about, and the objective you want to get to. If possible, write it down on a card, you don’t have to develop a full script, just jot down the most important points you want to say and especially your final objective so that you don’t forget anything. Your audience will be grateful.
Getting to the point can also apply to the pending tasks we have yet to do.
I don’t know if it’s happened to you that you get on the internet because you are going to research subject x, and it turns out that you write on the search engine what you want and you end up reading material that is related to your original search and suddenly you find yourself reading thousands of different things that have nothing to do with the original subject you were searching for. How much time did you waste? Were you efficient? Did you get to the point?
Let’s also review, what happens with the endless To Do list we all have, both personally and at work? Do all tasks get to the point? What do I mean by that?
Figure out if that endless list helps you achieve your objectives, helps you reach your dreams, or if it’s just busy work that fills up your days with a million things to do, leaves you completely exhausted and sometimes even frustrated, but it doesn’t let you focus, it doesn’t let you get to the point.
We would like to share with you some tips so that you can get to the point regarding your To Do list
- Friday evenings or Monday mornings, review all the things you have to do, both personally and professionally.
- Choose the activities with the highest priority this week.
- Schedule in your agenda 3 of those daily activities.
- Be realistic, unexpected things will always come up, therefore try to plan 80% of your time to deal with your To Do list and leave 20% for unexpected things that will probably happen during the week.
- Be flexible, when you plan your goals always keep in mind that unexpected events can occur. If they happen, you can move something that you were not able to accomplish to the next day, if they don’t, that’s good, you can make move ahead.
- Plan the earliest hour of your day for the most difficult tasks, I don’t know if it happens to you, but for me it is better to work early rather than in the afternoons when my brain is already tired. If you schedule the most difficult or important things early in the day, you are making sure that, even if something unexpected happens, you’ve made progress on the most important tasks.
Try it this week and I promise you will see results!
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