I recently found the Second City Works presents Getting to Yes, And podcast, which has great interviews and a great host (love their intro/outro music from Jukebox the Ghost) — I really liked their Marina Nitze and Nick Sinai interview about their new book Hack Your Bureaucracy, as I was working as a contractor in the VA the same time Marina was and saw some of her work from afar. Marina made a great point of tailoring how you connect with people and tailoring your pitch when you’re recommending something to align with their priorities, which sounds obvious, but people often make the same ‘sales pitch’ when trying to persuade someone, instead of really thinking about how to connect with their perspective and priorities.
There were lots of great ideas and points in the interview, but I was really struck with a conversation about the power of being audience-centric and concise/brief, which I see come up over and over again in discussions about leadership and management. It is so critical to really focus down to short, impactful text, like a tight purpose or scope statement. Or a powerful, intuitive image, like a Concept of Operations, PowerPoint Smart Art of the components of the vision, as-is to to-be transformation graphic, etc. Or a crisp verbal “elevator pitch” of why your recommendation is solves something your audience wants to improve.
When you create long documents or presentations, people rarely read/pay attention through the whole thing. Get to the point quickly, and invest the time and energy to align to their priorities.