Communication

How to Be Taken Seriously

One of the hardest things about being a Revolutionary Assistant is sitting in the room with the brass, and when you have an idea or a thought, they dismiss it as though it had never come out of your mouth.  You sit, you think about what you said, how stupid the idea must have been…and then, lo and behold, one of the brass says, “How about this?”  Your idea is reintroduced as though it belongs to a member of the senior team, and it’s accepted as though it’s worth its weight in happy shareholders.Taken Seriously

Aggravating, yes, but if you take the right steps to be taken seriously, people (at all levels of rank and file) will listen when you speak.  Here are a few things you can do (and not do) to send the message to co-workers that you mean business:

Ensure excellent follow through – Don’t promise something you can’t deliver, and always deliver what you promise.  If you’re launching projects and then letting them fizzle, that speaks volumes about the kind of worker you are.  The same holds true at the task level – if you take a task off someone’s hands and then don’t see it through to completion, your co-workers are going to think you’re all talk and no action.

Separate work and play – The more your co-workers know about you, the more you get filed under “personal” and not “professional.”  This is not to say that you shouldn’t foster relationships in the office, but be careful that supervisors aren’t the ones thinking their relationships are becoming personal.  Think twice before you hit the bar with your manager, and certainly don’t have more than one drink if you’re following the whole department over.  Don’t give anyone a reason to pass you over when you have an idea or interest in working on a project.

Remember the boss isn’t always right – I’ve written entire articles about this one.  I loathe the person that comes in championing the awful idea because “it’s what the boss wants!”  Your job, particularly as a Revolutionary Assistant, is to determine the right path for a project, not necessarily be the mouthpiece for a manager with lousy ideas.  Don’t be that guy.  Your co-workers and other managers won’t take you seriously if they don’t think you have a mind of your own.

Resolve your own conflicts – If you’re running to your manager with every issue that comes up between you and a co-worker, you’re not a quality team member, you’re a tattle-tale.  A Revolutionary Assistant’s job is to keep incidental, unimportant things off the manager’s desk, so unless your issue is HR-worthy, work out your differences with your co-worker on your own.

Go with the flow in the office – Try your best to adapt to the office culture around you.  This isn’t always easy, because sometimes during an interview you read a company as having a Google culture and it turns out to be as buttoned up as EDS.  If your co-workers are chatty and friendly, try to blend in even if it’s not your way.  Appearing to be stiff and unwilling to share isn’t your way into their hearts.  Same is true if they’re disinclined to want to hear about your weekend and you’re dying to tell them.  Co-workers lend their support to others who make them feel comfortable, seem to understand the game and want to play along.

Of course, following these rules doesn’t mean that the CEO is going to love your next idea, but Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is your office reputation.  These are just a few steps toward being taken seriously – I’m sure you can add a few more!

 

Next Post:  Wednesday, November 15

Take a Risk, Tell the Joke!

What kind of vegetable do drummers like best?

JokeA new study covered in the August 2016 issue of the Harvard Business Review suggests that people who tell jokes benefit from them – if they’re funny.

Researchers led by T. Bradford  Bitterly of the Whatrton School looked at causal links between humor and status in business.  After studying humor in job interviews, business presentations, and more, they concluded that humor is not such a bad thing, and the person telling the joke can benefit from it.  They found that:

  • If a person tells a joke and it’s good, the person’s status and competence becomes more highly rated
  • If a person tells a joke and it’s bad, the person’s status and competence stays the same
  • If a person tells an inappropriate joke, status and competence suffers, but confidence becomes more highly rated

Relatively speaking, there’s upside to telling a well-received joke, and little downside to telling one that’s not so very funny.  The moral of the story:  tell that joke!  It can’t hurt.

And by the way, drummers like beets best.

 

Next Post:  Wednesday, September 6

In Communication, It’s All About the Emotion

The world of communication intersects with an administrative assistant’s life all the time, whether it’s a note from her manager to his subordinates or an important message to the entire company.  Being somewhat familiar with the written word, I was happy to jump in and take care of basic communications for my manager.  It was something I did well and I was happy to make those skills available to him…he, in fact, did not do it as well, so he always took me up on it.

Its all about emotionsThe reason why he did not do very well at it wasn’t because he couldn’t form a complete sentence.  On the contrary, I still consider him a genius and he was pretty darned good at everything he did.  But he communicated in rambling sentences, giving away more detail than he needed, and the message suffered for it.  And he didn’t understand that one very important communication “thing.”

A good communication taps employees’ emotions.  It’s as simple as that, and yet so few communicators understand and use that knowledge to the company’s benefit.  Many of them will tell you straight out, “I’m not writing a romance novel here.”  But yeah, you kind of are…and it’s a romance between the employee and the company for which he works.

Let’s take, for instance, a communication that explains that a well-liked but inefficient executive is leaving the company to “pursue other interests.”  That’s a hard message to write, because people are going to be sad (that he’s leaving), worried (about their own seemingly uncertain futures) and unclear (on the direction of the company).  They’re going to know that this executive has been let go no matter how you express that detail, and they’re going to be angry with their company for doing it.

How do you conquer the employee emotions of sadness, worry, uncertainty and anger?  With a little certainty and an optimistic view of the company’s future:

Minimize words to create a feeling of authority and control – I always use Jean-Luc Picard as my example for why a writer shouldn’t ramble on in a message.  Jean-Luc could have told his crew, “You know, I’d like to move our blasters a little bit to the left and maybe increase our speed to warp 2 if we’ve got enough power, and then I feel strongly that we’ll catch that bad guy.”  Nope.  He said, “Engage!”  Everything else fell into place and his crew knew what to do.  Using a few well-chosen words conveys to your employees that you’re in control, that you know they know their jobs, and you’re confident the results will be as expected.

Don’t gloss over the details – An employee reading your communication is going to wonder, “Why?” and “What about me?” and he shouldn’t have to look far for the answers.  Quell all their fears and give them the details they need to know.  If any details should be conveyed privately, set up a schedule and ensure that those are passed along before a blanket communication goes out.

Address the elephant in the room, even if it’s only a subtle attempt – Yes, everyone is going to be angry that this well-liked executive has been asked to leave, but chances are a good many of them know that he was ineffective.  You don’t have to say that, but you can say, “We wish him well in his next endeavors and thank him for his contributions.”

End on a positive note – This new organizational structure, minus the ineffective executive, is going to benefit the company because of X, Y, and Z.  There should be no, “We think…” or “We believe…” involved in that.  You made a decision, it’s for the best, and the result will be good.  Give your employees a sense of confidence.

Be available for questions – Always, always, always leave your door open and invite discussion about events.  Employees should be able to discuss their concerns with managers in private, or even in a public forum, if the situation warrants one.

Not all communications assuage negative emotions, but they all convey emotions.  Some communications get the employees excited about where they work and what they do.  Others serve to recognize employees who have made great contributions (and, conversely, incent other employees to strive for those same goals).  All of them should serve to improve an employee’s engagement with his manager, co-workers and the organization, and that can only be done with…you got it….emotion.

 

Next Post:  Wednesday, August 23

The Co-workers Who Resist Change

The only thing that’s constant is change, right?  Companies have to change with the needs of the customers it helps, or they’re just not going to be around in a few years.  It’s a fact of business, and it’s also a fact that employees within those companies are going to resist any alteration to the status quo they’ve become accustomed to.Resist

So, what can a Revolutionary Assistant and her manager do?

Most of the time change is thrust upon employees and they’re told to deal with it.  That approach has met with some success, but it’s not always the kindest of procedures.  Better still is to understand that employees resist change because

  • They aren’t confident change will succeed
  • They don’t trust those who are leading the change initiative
  • They think the change isn’t necessary
  • They fear for their own personal position in the company
  • They have a harder time than most handling the disruption

When your manager is trying to initiate change, he or she may enlist your help to ensure a smooth implementation of the project.  That could mean interacting with and influencing these change resisters.  Change management experts across the globe have offered up some suggestions that might help:

Respect, respect, respect – You might feel a very strong urge to just tell these change resisters to “shut up and do it” but it may not be in your best interest.  If resisters haven’t been consulted, they could feel like important information (which they possess) has not been considered, or they may just feel that they missed their chance to be a part of the change conversation.  Encourage your manager to set up time with these resisters so he can hear their point of view and give it thoughtful consideration.

Encourage open discussion – This change affects everyone, and if it’s a new “thing” than perhaps not every angle has been studied.  Encourage plenty of conversation and feedback throughout the process…and be a great listener, otherwise the feedback and conversation will grind to a halt.  No one wants to talk to someone who’s not really listening.

“Diagnose” the resistance – Your manager has to give careful thought to the feedback she’s hearing.   Do you consider that point of view more thoroughly, or do you dismiss it and move on to the next point of interest?

Involve them in the change implementation – Resisters will often take more ownership for the change if they play a part in making it happen.  Hands-on work, and being called upon to bring other co-workers up to speed, is an education for the resister.

Be open to change yourself – Your idea about what this final product will look like may not be the way it actually looks when it’s done.  Your manager should not be married to any of his expectations.  This maelstrom of conversation and resistance is likely to result in something better than what was originally imagined, so keep minds open!

Organizations need to change in order to survive, and many fail to deal with change resisters in a productive way.  Don’t hit a dead end and create a critical situation for the company!  Encouraging conversation with resisters, considering their points of view and involving them in the change process helps your organization reach the finish line successfully.

 

Next Post:  Wednesday, July 26

The Exit Interview

Any good business is interested to know why its people are leaving, so being asked to do an exit interview upon your departure is not unusual and not at all a bad thing.  In fact, a Revolutionary Assistant should be eager to share his or her thoughts on what the organization is doing right and where it could improve.

Like any other interview, you should prepare your thoughts and enter the discussion with positive intentions.  After all, you don’t want to “slam the door shut behind you” when you leave.  Here are some things to think about, and some tips for the interview itself, that you might find handy:

Exit InterviewPlan your comments ahead of time – Even constructive criticism should be thoughtfully delivered.  Think about the reasons why you’re leaving the company, and if there is indeed something about the organization that’s causing your departure (e.g., lack of advancement opportunities, uncompetitive pay), by all means bring it up.  These are the things that the HR department needs to hear.  Make a list of those things you want to discuss, the items you think would be most helpful for the organization to understand.

Work on subtracting the emotion from your delivery – You might not be leaving on the best of terms.  If you’re marching out the front door in a huff, we’re very sorry to hear it.  Resist the urge to unload all your angst on the poor, well-meaning HR generalist.  Do your complaining and venting ahead of time, and approach your exit interview with as much positivity as you can muster.   And, with that in mind…

Refrain from commenting on specifics – The person conducting the exit interview should not be bringing up any specific instances that have caused your departure…in other words, if you’re a victim of sexual harassment, your interviewer should not be asking you questions specific to that incident.  The questions you answer should be general, high-level questions about the company and its leadership.  Decline to answer any questions that jump into that level of detail.

Don’t burn bridges – Your departure from the company may be largely fueled by your hatred for a particular manager or director, but you should be cautious about spewing your opinion of this person.  If it’s one thing I’ve learned in my nearly 30 years in the business world, it’s that industries are smaller than you think, and the likelihood that you’ll run into that horrible person again is bigger than you think.

Do your own “exit interview” with co-workers – As you prepare to leave, use your remaining time to connect with co-workers and let them know how much it’s meant to you that you’ve had the opportunity to work with them.  Spread a little sunshine…and be missed a little more.  It can’t hurt.

At the end of the day, be professional.  This is your last chance to leave on a good note, secure that personal and professional reference.  Don’t leave them with a bad final memory of your time with the company…but don’t walk away from them with information they could use to make the company better for those who remain, either.

 

Next Post:  Wednesday, June 14

“I’m Out of the Office Today…”

Admit it: your automatic “out of the office” email is just an afterthought as you’re running out the door to your vacation (or even your business trip).  A few quick words to let people know that you’re not tied to your keyboard these next few days, and you’re gone.

Out of officeAt the very least, you should be letting emailers know the dates you’ll be away from the office, and who they can contact in your absence.  That’s the bare bones option.  But what if you want to go a step further?  Your out-of-office response is an opportunity to show your professionalism, to remind clients and customers that your company provides a service, or to let emailers know you have a sense of humor and want to brighten their day.

Here are some suggestions:

Share an article or sales material – Are you an assistant supporting the sales department (or its sales leader)?  If you often receive inquiries by email or phone, consider sharing your sales materials as an attachment to your out-of-office message.  Or, perhaps you’ve just read an article that you found informative or inspiring.  If it’s professional in nature, consider sharing it and spreading the knowledge.

Share pictures – Sharing photos can be amusing and memorable.  If you’re out of office on vacation, you can say something like, “Here’s a picture of me as I’m leaving the office for my vacation” or “This is what I plan to be doing for the next week.”  Include a photo of manically happy you on your way out the door, or a picture of your feet as you’re lying on a towel at the beach.   Or, go the Facebook/Twitter route and share a cute animal to make the emailer’s day better.  “I’m sorry I’m not here, but behold…here’s a golden retriever puppy to help make up for that.”

Use your automatic response even when you’re working – If you’re offsite running an event or attending a six-hour meeting, use your automatic response option to let people know that you won’t get back to them right away.  They’ll appreciate the heads up!

Brag on your co-workers – Let your emailers know that you’re referring them to the world’s best second-choice option ever:  “I’m not in the office today, but feel free to reach out to Julie, who is perhaps the world’s best answerer of your question.”  Doing so will help the emailer feel more confident about going to Julie, and Julie will feel extra good while you’re gone.

Share information your emailer might be looking for – If you’re managing an event or anticipate that people may be trying to contact you for specific information, consider sharing that information (or links to it) in your out-of-office, to minimize your need to respond when you return.  OR…use the automatic responder even when you’re in the office to give others the information you know they’re seeking.

Let people know about business news or a recent accomplishment – Along with the basic out-of-office information, you could add, “And by the way, did you know that Smith, Incorporated was voted best consulting firm by Consulting Digest for the third year running?”  Or, brag a little about yourself:  “I’m out of the office today, taking a break after working with my team to open three new locations in the state of New Jersey!”

Revolutionary Assistants are standouts, and I mean in everything from the work they deliver to their manager all the way down to their out-of-office responses.  Don’t miss an opportunity to set yourself apart from the herd.  Put some thought and energy into your outgoing message!

Next Post:  Wednesday, May 31

Collecting Honest Employee Feedback

Not as easy as it sounds!  You can put out suggestion boxes, provide employee hotlines, tout your open door policy from the roof of the building, and still, your team members hesitate to contribute.  And – here’s a newsflash for you – it’s likely those people have valuable information they’re not sharing.  How do you get it out of them?

The reasons why employees are unlikely to share information about bad bosses, poor processes, or even ways to improve current operations, are pretty logical.  People are generally afraid to speak their minds in a work environment – they don’t want managers to take their feedback personally or seem disrespectful.  In some circumstances, they don’t want to risk reprimand or dismissal.  On the other end of the spectrum, they think, “Why bother?  Nothing’s going to change.”  In order to create an environment where employee feedback is given freely, a manager (and his Revolutionary Assistant!) needs to mitigate these conditions.

suggestion-boxThe payoff is excellent.  If employees feel comfortable sharing and provide feedback regularly, those companies usually experience a higher employee retention and usually higher performance.  Here’s how you can increase feedback in your office.

Don’t rely on the anonymous feedback opportunities – If no one knows who said what, then employees won’t be scared to contribute ad you’re going to get honest feedback, right?  Perhaps.  But consider this: it’s not very easy to follow up on a serious issue when protecting the anonymity of the employee who submitted it; even more difficult if you don’t know who submitted it at all.  So this method is not entirely helpful.  If that’s not bad enough, consider that “anonymous opportunities” like a suggestion box or a 360 assessment can make it seem like employees need the protection of anonymity.

Make your manager (and yourself, as his assistant) available – Like, REALLY available, in the work area of the employees on your team.  Be curious (in a good way) about what’s going on, and be helpful.   You two are the start of a culture of sharing and open dialogue in your office.  Be accessible all the time and…

Encourage your manager to be talkative and express his/her own opinions as an example for others – If your manager behaves like he or she is in the culture of sharing and open communication, employees are more likely to follow suit.  Transparency is key here, as it’d be easy for employees to think that your manager has a personal agenda if they’re not used to this behavior.

Make feedback a regular part of the routine – If your manager is holding weekly meetings, set aside a part of that meeting to encourage feedback as a part of the conversation.  Welcome all of it – even the bad ideas will get you to good ones, so no criticism and no picking on ideas that aren’t totally up to snuff!

Provide resources to address issues that come up – When you hear feedback that requires action, put someone on the case.  If employees aren’t sharing because they think nothing will be done, it’s your manager’s duty to make sure they aren’t right about that.

In order to encourage employee feedback, your manager has to work toward shifting the culture so that employees feel comfortable.  Once the suggestions start rolling in, take good care of them:  put adequate resources on them to see that good ideas come to fruition, and treasure even the bad ideas that come in.  Remember, you could work in an office where no one says anything at all!

 

Next Post:  Wednesday, December 7

 

Sorry! Women and Apologies in the Workplace

I’ve read a lot about how women saying “I’m sorry” in the workplace.  The irritating behavior, said writer Sloane Crosley in The New York Times, is “a Trojan horse for genuine annoyance, a tactic left over from centuries of having to couch basic demands in palatable packages in order to get what we want.”

SorryRefinery29 Web writer Lindsey Standberry did an experiment where she asked three co-workers to record how many times they apologized.  The women said “I’m sorry” as few as 9 but as many as 47 times during a workday.  All reported that it was a phrase they used when they were about to assert authority.

Finally, Washington Post writer Jessica Grose said, “’Sorry,’ but we don’t need new email plug-ins [that remind us not to use apologetic language in our written communications].  What we need is for people to stop picking apart the ways we communicate.”

This Revolutionary Assistant thinks the answer really lies somewhere in between, and it’s as much a personal issue as it is a badge of our gender.  Effective communication is a mix of a speaker’s confidence and her ability to gauge the way in which the listener will best accept, internalize and respond to her message.

Sometimes, the speaker is best served by very direct communication that will result in a very direct action.   For instance, if the building is on fire, a revolutionary communicator is not going to say, “I’m sorry, but can I ask you to head to the nearest stairwell?”  She’s going to calmly and firmly direct everyone to safety.

Similarly, a female communicator might find that a subordinate responds best when he is told directly and firmly to take a course of action.  However, that’s not always the case for women trying to communicate in the workplace.  As Washington Post writer Jessica Grose pointed out, women are not always well received when they buck the soft-spoken cultural norms that are expected of them:

Because we’re already fighting against so many cultural assumptions, in many instances, women have discovered that they are more respected and successful when they conform to those gendered expectations. In [her book] Talking from 9 to 5, [author and Georgetown University linguist Deborah] Tannen offers the example of a doctor who is one of the few women in her specialty. At first, this surgeon tried mimicking the military-style order barking of the male surgeons who trained her. But that approach backfired — none of the nurses would listen to her. So she changed her way of speaking, because she found, “if you try to be authoritarian, like many of your male colleagues are, it won’t work with most nurses, but if you ally yourself with them and respect them as professional colleagues, they will be your best allies.”

Is it really fair that a woman, who is equal to her male colleague in every way, has to adjust the way she communicates to achieve a goal, while that male colleague can do the same without a single thought to his approach?  Maybe not.  But in my opinion, this is where we are in our evolution of women in the workplace, and a woman’s success isn’t dependent on how many times she apologizes or softens her phrase.  A woman’s success is dependent on getting the result she wants.

In summary, if you’d like to count how many times you say “I’m sorry” in a day, by all means do so.  And there’s nothing wrong with wanting to strengthen your communication skills by becoming more direct.  But if you choose to soften a directive with a quick apology so that it’s well-received and stands a better chance of being acted upon, do it with confidence.  If that’s how you get what you want, if that’s how you achieve your goals, there’s nothing wrong with it.  Go forth and apologize unapologetically!

Next Post:  Wednesday, September 28

 

I Just Spent 10 Minutes Trying to Trick Siri

I read an article today about how Barbra Streisand called Apple CEO Tim Cook and asked him to correct Siri’s pronunciation of her last name.  “It’s pronounced with a soft S,” she explained in the interview, “like sand on a beach.”  And, because she’s Barbra Streisand, Tim Cook said, “Sure!” and the update is supposed to happen on September 30.

Of course, I wanted to hear Siri say “Streisand”, so I could hear how she was pronouncing it.

SiriLet me preface this: I’m not a Siri user.  My husband, he’s asking Siri to find him things all the time, but not me.  Siri and I just don’t get each other.  I ask her what time it is in Portland, Oregon, and I get the weather in Portland, Maine, if I’m lucky.   Today was no exception.

I said, “Siri, look up Barbra Streisand.”

After a moment, a ton of Barbra Streisand information came up on the screen.  She said, “Here you go.”

While this was probably the first time I’d actually received what I’d asked Siri for, my secret hopes to hear her mangled pronunciation of the superstar’s name was dashed.  So I tried again.

“Siri, who sang ‘Happy Days Are Here Again’?”

She responded by giving me episodes of the television show Happy Days to purchase on iTunes.

My husband grabbed the iPad out of my hand then and asked, “Siri, who sang ‘The Way We Were’?”

“Marvin Hamlisch,” she responded.  Hamlisch (which she pronounced “Hamlis-ch,” but it’s not likely anyone will be bringing that to Tim’s attention) wrote the song but obviously did not sing it.  So, being persistent, my husband said again, “Siri, who SANG ‘The Way We Were’?”

After a thoughtful moment, Siri responded, “Barbra Strei-ZAND ,” and gave me the option to purchase an album, single, or ringtone featuring the song.

Why am I telling you this?  Well, for one, sometimes I get tired of talking about business.  And for another thing, going through this little exercise got me to thinking about several business-related points:

  1. Whether you’re talking to Siri or a human, it’s often how you ask the question that gets you the correct answer.
  2. Barbra Streisand picked up the phone and called Tim Cook to get the problem solved, which is proof that all the texting and emailing I ask Siri to do is probably not the most effective way to communicate, and Siri knows that, which is why she always does it wrong for me.
  3. ‘The Way We Were’ is probably the lousiest choice for a ringtone ever.

Perhaps that last one wasn’t so business-related, but it bears mentioning.

At any rate, I plan to mark my calendar for September 30 so that I can check up on Siri and see if she pronounces Barbra’s name like “sand on a beach.”  I’ll have learned to ask the question the right way, and perhaps she’ll respond correctly on the first try.  If not, maybe I’ll pick up the phone and give Tim a call.

Next Post:  Wednesday, September 14

Make Data Resonate in a Presentation

“If I lined up all the bottled water the United States consumes in a week, the line would reach from here to the moon and back seventeen times.”

You know, I don’t actually know how many bottles of water we consume in a week, and if this sentence were actually true, I’m still not sure I’d understand how many bottles of water that meant.  I know it’s a long way from here to the moon, but I have no real perspective on that distance.   I haven’t been there yet.

Data resonate For instance, in Harvard Business Review’s Jan/Feb 2016 article “Vision Statement: How to Make Extreme Numbers Resonate,” the author wanted to make a point of how massive 18 billion coffee pods are.  To do it, s/he illustrated a building that took up an entire New York City block and extended to a height of thirty stories.  Add some little cars on the road to show just how big that building is and, wow, that’s a whole lot of coffee pods.

Let’s do one together.  In 2012, total U.S. bottled water consumption increased to 9.67 billion gallons.  (That’s actually a real fact, thank you very much International Bottled Water Association!)  That’s a whole lot of gallons of water.   The number sounds impressive, but how can we make it even more impressive?

Well, the average back-yard, in-ground swimming pool holds about 20,000 gallons of water.  We pretty much all know what one of those looks like.  So when we say that the U.S. alone consumed 483,500 swimming pools worth of water, that sounds pretty impressive.  If you still think that’s a hard thing to get your arms around, then compare the consumption to a nearby lake, or a water tower in the area.

Let’s try some more:

  • Over 158,000 people are expected to die from lung cancer this year.  Think about the tragedy of September 11 happening once a week all year.  That’s how many people will die of this disease.
  • More than one billion people are on Facebook.  If they all lived in one place, they’d be the third biggest country in the world.

 

So how about really small numbers?  The best and most familiar example might be a description of your chances of winning the lottery – you have a better chance of being hit by lightening (and you have a very small chance of being hit by lightening.  I think that’s pretty good, but try using a visual to show your audience just how the odds are stacked.  Make them look for a pinpoint on the slide, and the fact that it’s so hard to find will illustrate your point.

Before I close, I want to share with you a favorite example, offered by Duarte. Intel’s CEO Paul Otellini did when he presented at the 2010 CES in Las Vegas.  He said:

 “Today we have the industry’s first-shipping 32-nanometer process technology. A 32-nanometer microprocessor is 5,000 times faster; its transistors are 100,000 times cheaper than the 4004 processor that we began with. With all respect to our friends in the auto industry, if their products had produced the same kind of innovation, cars today would go 470,000 miles per hour. They’d get 100,000 miles per gallon and they’d cost three cents. We believe that these advances in technology are bringing us into a new era of computing.”

Everyone owns a car, right?  The perfect example of showing just how small and fast a number is.

So help your audience understand just how big, how small, or how impressive your number is by taking something that’s familiar to them, and using it to illustrate your fact!

 

Next Post:  Wednesday, August 31