Prune your garden and your presentations

Spring has sprung

Spring has sprung

Ignoring Spring is impossible. The season demands attention, starting with a sea of pollen that actually chokes us with its abundance, quickly followed by startlingly brilliant colors as flowers show off and trees leaf out.

Every year I am astonished by Spring's flashy, loud, and abundant display. But a spring garden's beauty can be easily overwhelmed by the sheer volume of life bursting forth. A sustainable, healthy garden requires weeding, culling and pruning. And while it's hard to cut back and dig up and remove the plethora of vegetation, it's absolutely necessary.

I recently helped a client prep for a job interview. She has excellent professional experience, the perfect educational credentials and really wants the job. She really, really wants the job. We had one hour together, and for thirty minutes I heard about all the projects she had worked on, the proposals she leads, the teams she managed. But it was too much of a good thing. Just like my early spring garden there was too much going on to clearly see how great a fit she is. So my client and I carefully pruned back her stories, weeded out the interesting but not critical examples until the essential elements of her qualifications and history could be seen.

She worked out her main talking points. Now her clear and persuasive interest in the organization is showcased. Her wealth of experience is highlighted by three strong statements, and her superb qualifications stand out. My client is prepared to offer short, well-crafted narrated examples that illustrate her points without taking away from her clear, simple, and elegant message.

Spring has sprung and has a lot of offer. A good gardener cares for her garden by removing the extraneous and letting the essential be seen. Take the time to trim back the excess in your own presentations and allow your primary message room to flourish.  

Happy Spring.

- denise