The One Thing

source: opensourceway via Flickr
source: opensourceway via Flickr

Now all has been heard;
    here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
    for this is the duty of all mankind.
Ecclesiastes 12:13 (NIV)

One of the most frustrating things for me as a listener is when a speaker blathers on, his or her message chasing off on various tangents without ever clearly saying anything.

I learned long ago that when preparing what I need to say, no matter the context of the message, I should always nail down “the one thing.” Think of “the one thing” as the entire message boiled down into a simple tweet on twitter. It is “the one thing” I want my listeners to hear clearly. It is “the one thing” I am really trying to say. It serves me well as I prepare my message because I can constantly review my points, my stories, and my illustrations with “the one thing” in mind. If something doesn’t directly connect my listener to “the one thing,” or if they have to connect multiple dots in order to arrive at “the one thing,” then it shouldn’t be in my presentation.

This morning as I read, I found it interesting that the scribe who edited the original works summed the entire book up in this short conclusion. In the end he boiled it down and gave us “the one thing.”

Life is full of words, posts, tweets, texts, videos, and podcasts. We are inundated with a steady stream of messages. I wonder if it’s making us better communicators or if the one thing is constantly lost in the blather.

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