Stop wasting time in meetings and emails

Tips on presentation

In most situations, you have no more than a few minutes to pitch an idea. In my experience, you should cut the fluff. Focus on key information. In today's fast-paced, digitally connected world, people are constantly bombarded with information. They have no time for you. Most are sceptical and quick to pass judgement.

There is a big difference between what you think you need to say and what you need to say. We tend to say more than we need to. In my experience, just tell them what's in it for them, tell them specific numbers, be upfront. Avoid passive tense. Say it as it is.

For technical questions, come prepared show answers in reports and annexes. Leave time for Q and A. Open the meeting by telling them why you are here. Tell them what you need them to decide on.

Tips on writing

8 Golden rules

·         Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech, which you are used to seeing in print.

·         Never use a long word where a short one will do. (Be direct!)

·         If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out. (Be concise!)

·         Never use the passive where you can use the active. (0 passive allowed!)

·         Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.

·         Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.