Seth Godin is the author of several books about “marketing, the spread of ideas and managing both customers and employees with respect”. They are bestsellers. His blog is one of my favourites and I highly recommend it.
In this blog post from 4 June 2010, Seth rails against the incomprehensible claptrap that is dumped on us time and time again in presentations and documents. We should all be just as upset.
A while back, I wrote a post on how to make your presentations concrete.
One of the most important things to do is use simple language. Language that means something. Not vague statements about “synergies” or “rationalization” or “streamlining efficiencies”. These words almost always mean nothing and serve only to bore or confuse your audience.
Give concrete examples of what you mean. Take Seth’s advice and make an effort to say something meaningful and worth listening to. Or don’t say anything at all.
But You’re Not Saying Anything
by Seth Godin
And this is the problem with just about every lame speech, every overlooked memo, every worthless bit of boilerplate foisted on the world: you write and write and talk and talk and bullet and bullet but no, you’re not really saying anything.
It took me two minutes to find a million examples. Here’s one, “The firm will remain competitive in the constantly changing market for defense legal services by creating and implementing innovative and effective methods of providing cost-effective, quality representation and services for our clients.”
Write nothing instead. It’s shorter.
Most people work hard to find artful ways to say very little. Instead of polishing that turd, why not work harder to think of something remarkable or important to say in the first place?