Make it a one-pager

In my sixth year of college I took a class called Digital Systems Design.

The biggest lesson our professor taught us has nothing to do with digital systems.

Each of the 3 exams we took had 10 questions.

You had exactly one page to answer all of them. You could use both sides of a 8.5 x 11 piece of paper, sure, but nothing else.

The first day everyone thought that was bogus, of course.

But that simple instruction helped all of us internalize one simple truth: the better you understand something the less you need to explain it.

So…

That report you’re working on? Make it a one pager.

The all so important 78-slide-and-counting PowerPoint presentation for senior management? 1 slide.

The deal-of-a-lifetime pitch you’re preparing for the client of your dreams? 1 page.

Sure enough, they’ll ask for more if they like what they see and by all means have the material with you. But go through the mental effort of eliminating the non-essential until everything fits in one page.

Bonus thought: if you only had a business card to present the idea, what would it say?

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