20 Excellent Minutes Inside 30 Mediocre Minutes
by Dwayne Phillips
“Omit needless words,” still holds true. Sometimes in a different form.
I just listened to a 30-minute talk. The context isn’t important. What is important is there were 20 minutes of excellent talking in those 30 mediocre minutes. Cut this, cut that, don’t repeat that. Omit needless words.
This is one of the reasons for the excellence in the TED talks. There are editors behind the scenes. They listen to the speakers practice. They cut, cut, and cut more. They omit the needless words. They are pleasant folks, these editors, but the are ruthless when it comes to words and minutes.
“You have to understand,” says the speaker after 30 mediocre minutes. “I get so excited and I want to say so much and I…”
The speaker’s enthusiasm and good will are wonderful. The words that flow are merely extra words that fill extra minutes and surround the excellent words. It’s sort of like a five-paragraph blog post that should be three paragraphs. Yikes.