No, I did not misspell the word and I am NOT talking about “fake it till you make it” positivity. I just learned this acronym recently from the military approach to a presentation or briefing.
Bottom Line Up Front
It’s well known that people remember little of what is said. The first thing and the last thing are among the most memorable as is any story or emotion. It’s no wonder that people check out during long presentations and lectures. We often hear to observe the the KISS principle. Here’s a sanitized version that does not denigrate anyone.
Keep It Short & Sweet
You may also have heard to focus a presentation with three key points.
- Tell them what you are going to tell them
- Tell them what you want to tell them
- Tell them what you told them
That fits nicely with the expectation that they will remember the beginning and the end.
I’ve often dealt with high level executives and high performance people. I find they are the least likely to accept listening to a long explanation. I recall a very impatient sales guy I worked with. I hated his expression whenever I was carefully and methodically trying to explain why what a customer and he were asking would not be easy, take time, and cost money. He repeatedly said to me,
“What’s the bottom line?”
Now, I find myself getting lost in other people’s ramblings and want to scream the same line. Sometimes my wife has trouble following what I’m trying to say and she will speak that line that sets the hair on the back of my neck rising and tingling.
So, when you are on the edge of making a presentation or statement (sort of a bluff), remember a better way to communicate is to simplify it, get to the point, and clarify to make it clear from beginning to end.