If there’s a small child in your life – either your own or one you’re acquainted with, you’ll know that they can be the worst storytellers.
“Last Tuesday… or was it Wednesday? No, wait… it was Thursday. Thursday afternoon. And I was at school with Luke, and you won’t believe what we did! We were outside at break time, and …”
By this time, your mind has wandered off to the things you need to do this weekend, that snippy email your boss sent this morning, and a quick calculation of how much leave you have left. Why? Because you know there are at least another 10 minutes of background to come before the child in front of you gets to the point of the story.
Well, we hate to be the ones to break it to you, but that’s probably what it’s like for other people reading your business communication. You’ve been taught to start with an introduction, then give background and context, and then discuss all of that, blah blah blah, and then finally, end with a conclusion where you tie everything up in a neat little package.
But the sad truth is that most people don’t make it past the first few paragraphs. And if they do, they skip to the end. So why keep doing this?
Try this: write the conclusion as your introduction. Get to the point immediately – and then explain how you got there. That’s how you write with clout.