A Facebook friend posts a video ...
A Twitter friend has a link to a video he says will blow your mind ...
A buddy sends you an email with a video embedded on it and a note, "You gotta see this!"
... if only it would play!
You're curious, and partially excited, to see what your friends are saying is so great, but you spend more time just waiting while the video displays the message "Buffering." You finally tire of waiting all those seconds, and move on to other things.
"The video probably wasn't so great anyway," you think.
But you'll never know because you missed out on the message.
Too many speakers today are like that buffering video, they get so bogged down in ramping up to say what they have to say they wind up losing their audience before they hardly get started sharing their real message.
Effective communicators understand the value of getting to the point, quickly and concisely. There's nothing wrong with using a hook to capture attention, or drawing in listeners with a captivating story. But if you don't capture attention in a matter of seconds, modern audiences will start to tune you out and you may not get a chance to communicate the core of what you have to say.
Whether you're speaking, writing, or even sharing a message one-on-one, get to the point quickly. In other words, make sure your point really is the real point of what you have to communicate! If your point is buried in a whole lot of other stuff before you ever get to it, is your point really your point? Be clear and concise. Remember, the real mission is to communicate your message.