How to Master a Short Attention Span as a Writer and Speaker

How to Master a Short Attention Span as a Writer and Speaker

Deliver the punch line first.

If you're looking to hone your leadership skills, effective communication is a great place to focus. Sometimes in order to communicate effectively you have to get to the point.

The key to mastering a short attention span, whether it's yours or someone else's, is to deliver the punch line first.

When making a presentation or writing a report, if you want to make sure your message is received, deliver it first.

For presenting information, there are many reasons you should deliver the punch line first; below are two.

1: If you deliver the punch line of your message first you give it the best chance of being received. By putting the punch line first, you're indicating its importance and making it less likely to be glossed over since the audience is more attentive in the beginning.

2: By delivering the punch line first you can save everyone time. If the audience agrees with your message, you can move on to the next item on the agenda. If they need more information, you've listed your justification statements below the punch line (just as I have in this article) or you've already produced them on slides later in the presentation. Either way, you're mastering a short attention span by giving the punch line first to those who need it and giving the reasoning behind it for whoever needs the details.

So the next time you put together a presentation, type an email or write a report, think about the people in the audience with the short attention spans. In a world with instant updates, constant communication and busy schedules, the ability to deliver your message quickly and efficiently is extremely and increasingly valuable. Join the conversation in the comments below.


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