May 13, 2020

Need to be more concise when you speak? Use this trick to skip the rambling

Do you find yourself zoning out during these virtual meetings?


Ever think to yourself: “How long is he gonna go on for?”She made that point three times.” “When is he gonna hurry up and stop talking already!?”


Because if so, you’re not alone (and you’re not a horrible person.)


But here’s the uncomfortable truth:

Unless you know how to organize your talking points so they’re clear, engaging, and to-the-point, your colleagues might be thinking the same thing about you.


I know, ouch. But hear me out: It’s not because you’re not intelligent or you don’t know your stuff (you do!), it’s just that our attention spans are VIRTUALLY non-existent. If you want to make these back-to-back calls and virtual meetings easier on your colleagues (and ultimately yourself!), you’ve gotta make sure you’re articulating your ideas as clearly and succinctly as possible. Which is much easier said (typed?) than done!


Last week, we talked about how to skip the rambling within your first 20 seconds of speaking – especially if you’re the one leading the meeting or facilitating the presentation.  Missed it? Click here to check it out.


If you’re ready to dive into my 3-step trick for organizing your thoughts into clearer, more concise talking points – in  advance or on the fly – watch this 90-second video and then review the cliff notes below.

It’s that simple. 

Step 1: Organize your bottom lines 

When I say BLUF, I mean Bottom Line Up Front. Cut to the chase, THEN contextualize. So, instead of starting with a bunch of context and making people wait for you to finally get to the bottom line, start with the bottomline and then provide supporting details. You might feel like you need to explain your way into your bottom line… you don’t.  Instead, share your key point upfront and then fill in the details. It’ll help your listener process what you’re suggesting and it’ll help you skip the rambling.

Step 2: Preview your talking points

When I say sign-post I mean: hold up a verbal sign-post that estimates HOW many points you’re about to make to flesh out your bottom line. Ex.“ I have two specific thoughts about this…” Or “I have three points I want to make about this and then I’d love to hear from you.” This lets your audience know how much more info is coming. Which a) makes you seem more organized and on top of your sh*t and b) makes them feel like you value their time and that you’re not gonna take up more than you said you were going to. 

Step 3: Show, don’t tell what you mean

When I say show, don’t tell I mean: be as illustrative as possible so you pull your listener into the experience instead of having them sit on the sidelines and watch you explain something. Set the scene of what you’re talking about, give concrete examples, use metaphors and stories that help your audience visualize what you’re talking about, and use that 3-letter word that’ll always help you paint a clearer picture and make them want to pay attention to you.

What do you think? Tell me in the comments: Which of these three reminders feels most intuitive to you? And which will be the most challenging to remember?


And if you got something out of this video, please share it with your friends and colleagues. They’ll thank you for it!


Finally, if you’re not already subscribed to my E-Tribe, scroll down, type in your info and get your butt inside! I’ll send you a free copy of my Presence “Playbook” so you can show up to your next virtual meeting or presentation with less nerves, undeniable presence, and a game plan for articulating yourself in the most clear and compelling way. 


In the meantime, keep showing up as the YOU, you most want to be. One intention, one interaction at a time.


Thanks so much for watching and I’ll see you next week!


All my love, 



  1. Sarah Harris on July 7, 2020 at 1:56 am

    Step 2 is hardest for me, unless I’m giving a prepared presentation where I’ve had time to think out and know what I’m going to say.

    • Brenne Hali on August 19, 2020 at 11:42 am

      Absolutely. I get that, Sarah! Sometimes I skip Step 2 when I’m not clear on exactly how many points I want to make and just do my best to stick to a few supporting details. So definitely let yourself off the hook if it’s more derailing than helpful. More often than not though… I’ve found that when people give themselves an extra moment to quickly identify how many points they want to make, they’re able to articulate themselves way more easily and succinctly! (Myself included!) Let’s keep experimenting with it and see what iteration of the skills works best for you!

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