Category Archives: Good Words

How to Ace Your Next Presentation

Greg McKeown

New York Times Bestselling Author


Mr. Frost, my superb economics teacher in England, once shared the story of two people talking about a lecture given by the late Milton Friedman, the father of Monetarism. The first said, “Twenty years ago, I went to the worst lecture I’ve ever heard! Friedman gave it and I still remember how he just muttered on and on and all I could make out was the word ‘money.’” The second man responded, “If you can remember what the key message was some twenty years later, I think it might be the best lecture you ever heard!”


Indeed, Friedman’s singular message — that by controlling the supply of money, you can stabilize the whole economy — became, arguably, the most impactful economic theory of the second half of the 20 century. The point I wish to emphasize is not an economic one, but a human one: if you try to say too many things, you don’t say anything at all.


It is clear, in the conference keynotes that I give anyway, that if we take on too many subjects, the message will not be remembered 20 days later, never mind 20 years later. The communication challenge is immense: often such events are packed with a dozen different speakers, each with a plethora of ideas. Then there is the digital distraction of the participants’ smart phones within easy reach. According to research reported in TIME magazine, the average phone user unlocks their phone 110 times a day and at the highest levels, 900 times a day. The best compliment I everreceived from a conference organizer was that she had not seen one person reach for a digital device during my presentation. That doesn’t happen every time, of course. But through trial and error over many years, I have learned a few lessons about ensuring that the essential message is heard amidst all the nonessential noise:


1. You can’t communicate what you haven’t defined. I was once asked to work with an executive team who wanted to find a sticky message for a new initiative they wanted to run. But after interviewing a series of executives involved, all on video, I realized the problem was really a strategy problem dressed up as a communications problem. They couldn’t communicate the message with greater effectiveness until they defined their message with greater clarity. And that meant making decisions about what their initiative was and what it was not. I have found that designing a message around the following helps: “I am teaching [this narrow subject] to [this specific audience] in order that they [clear learning objective/call to action].”


2. Lose the slides and have a conversation. I recently spoke at SXSW, a conference held in Austin, Texas that attracts thousands of creative movers and shakers.When I spoke, there was standing room only and a palpable energy. Sensing the pulse in the room, I killed the slides and just had a conversation. Basically, I asked one question: “Why are otherwise intelligent people tricked by the trivial?” Lots of people shared their thoughts and we riffed on each of the comments, which ranged from “We’ve been trained from our first days in school to do what we’re told without question,” to “We have so many things to do, we’re overwhelmed.”


Then, instead of simply moving on to another question, I led the conversation back to the same one. We just kept going deeper on the same question and the conversation in turn became richer. Slides would have inhibited that conversation. One person said afterwards that the session had been the highlight of SXSW for him; another said it was the most interactive session of the whole event. Slides lead people to lean back in their seats while a conversation causes them to lean forward and engage.


3. Kill your darlings. Stephen King has written that in order for a story to come to life, you must “kill your darlings, kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.” The same type of self-editing can be applied to telling stories. Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Square and co-founder of Twitter, thinks his primary job is to be the Chief Editor of the company in order to “present one cohesive story to the world.”


4. Be repetitive without being boring. Alastair Campbell, the communications advisor to Tony Blair for years, explained at a CIPR conference the challenge we face today in getting a message through in our noisy world: You’re in a huge room with a wall on the far side that’s painted white. Your job is to paint it blue using only the paint gun in your hand. You shoot a single ball and it hits the wall on the other side and makes the tiniest blue mark. You’ve got your message out there once, but it’s still drowned out. So you shoot another ball over. Then another and another and another. You keep going with great persistence until you look over there and the wall starts to look as if you aren’t sure if it’s white or blue. This, according to Campbell, is the best you can hope for.


But before you can be repetitive, you have to decide on the one message you want to hammer home – which means prioritizing. When the word priority came into the English language in the 1400s, it was singular. What did it mean? The very first or prior thing. It continued to have that useful definition for the next five hundred years. However, in the 1900s we pluralized the term and started speaking of priorities. But can we really have many first or prior things? Words can be potent enough to change the world, but if we try to share too many different messages, we water down the power of our message.


Whether you’re an executive preparing to give a high stakes keynote or an event organizer (which might be the most underappreciated job out there), you want participants to be impacted and inspired. You want a home run, not another forgettable talk. You want participants coming up to you months—or years—later thanking you for giving that talk or bringing in that speaker. It can be done, if you practice the disciplined pursuit of less, but better. That is the price for having people say, “That was the best lecture I’ve ever heard.”



Greg McKeown’s new book has become an instant New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller. Order Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less today and learn how to say and no less but accomplish more.

Article originally published in Harvard Business Review.



Photo: CC licensed (BY-NC) flickr photo by mattcornock Design: LinkedIn

The Simplest Way to Avoid Wasting Time

Greg McKeown

New York Times Bestselling Author

I recently met with a capable executive who is passionate about his work and good at it. The problem is he pursues so many initiatives that by the end of the year people don’t really know what he has accomplished. They know he has done “a bunch of stuff” but in the blur of busyness they can’t be quite sure what it adds up to. It’s the career equivalent of Apple’s undisciplined approach of “add more product lines” before Steve Jobs’ return. Their answer to everything was “another product” until at they’re peak they reached 330 different products. It almost sank the company.

The reason for my meeting with the executive in question was a good one: he wanted me to run essentialism workshops to every person in his company. Still, with no sense of irony, he also wanted to roll out five other workshops. In the last few months he has added two different leadership competency models, a values list and much more. He is enthusiastic about it all. However, it has left him making only a tiny amount of progress in too many directions.

My advice to him was to become far more selective. Instead of trying to do everything, popular, now we can pursue the right things, for the right reasons at the right time. By doing fewer things, better we can make a higher contribution.

Returning to the Apple story, Steve saved Apple by reducing the number of product lines from 330 to 10 products. The mantra was to say no to almost everything in order to say yes to a few “insanely great products.” It is a principle that can work for companies and also the people who work for those companies. Here’s how:

1. Explore more; commit less. One paradox of essentialism is that essentialists explore more than their nonessentialist counterparts. Essentialists are incredibly selective about what they commit to but in the interim period, they can be curious about lots of things. They just don’t go all in until they find something that’s a total 10-out-of-10 ‘Yes! This is the thing I should be doing.’ Think of Steve Jobs and Jony Ive saying day after day, “This might sound crazy but…” Almost all of the ideas were crazy until, as Jony put it, eventually an idea was so great it took the air out of the room.

2. Negotiate the nonessentials. For a lot of people it is laughable to imagine saying “No!” to a senior leader. They worry, for good reason, that such a blunt response will immediately be a career limiting move. However, it is a false dichotomy to believe that “either I have to say yes to everything and capitulate or I have to say no and be seen as insubordinate.” When we believe nonessentials are nonnegotiable we lose a lot of power.

3. Conduct a career offsite. Sometimes we spend more time planning our vacation than planning our careers. One cure to this is to schedule a quarterly offsite. We can take a few hours every few months to think about the bigger picture questions: “If I can only achieve three things over the next three months what should they be?” and “Where do I want to be five years from now?” When we don’t take time to ask these more strategic questions we become a function of other people’s agendas. We are left to react to the latest email and can become rudderless; blown about by every wind of corporate change.

4. Come back to your purpose. My friend and “ocean advocate”, Lewis Pugh, has designed an extraordinary career around his professional purpose: to create National Parks in the Oceans. His clarity of purpose enables him to achieve the (almost) impossible. Among other things, he swims in the most extreme water conditions imaginable. In one recent TED talk he describes swimming in the North Pole in temperatures of minus 1.7 degrees (see it here). He says, “The most powerful form of self-belief comes from believing in something greater than you. Because when you’ve got purpose, everything becomes possible.” So when you are exhausted or getting pulled in a million directions come back to your purpose.

5. Give up the idea that success means pleasing everyone. Thinking we can keep everyone happy simply by saying yes to everyone is false. It leads to everyone feeling frustrated. Alternatively, when we wisely push back we sacrifice an ounce of popularity in the moment, but we trade it for respect in the long run.

6. Celebrate the reality of tradeoffs. Instead of asking, “How can I make it all work?” Ask, “What are the tradeoffs I want to make?” Make them deliberately and strategically. Don’t try to straddle every request. As Michael Porter has written, “Strategy is about making choices, trade-offs. It’s about deliberately choosing to be different.”

In the end, it is this idea of choosing to be different that can be so powerful. Designing a career of contribution doesn’t mean adding layers. Instead, it is about becoming more of who we are already are by chiseling away those things that don’t feel right.

Supercharge your career by ordering the newly released New York Times bestseller “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.”


Photo: Hayati Kayhan/ shutterstock




[좋은글] 소리나지 않는 여유로운 삶

[좋은글]소리나지 않는 여유로운 삶. 벼도 익어야 고개가 숙여지고, 물도 깊어야 고요한 법입니다. 빈 깡통이 요란하고 빈 수레가 시끄럽습니다. 패자는 말이 많지만, 승자는 말이 필요 없습니다. 대개의 경우, 말이 많은 사람은 변명으로 일관되어 있습니다. 여유 있는 사람은 그것이, 재주이던, 돈이던, 능력이던 내 세우지 않습니다. 커다란 재주가 있는 사람은 자신의 재주를 의식조차 하지 않습니다. 어리석은자가 자신의 조그만한 잔재주를 드러냅니다. 큰 재주는 가만히 있어도 그 후광이 빛을 내뿜기 때문이고, 잔 재주는 소리를 질러야 남들이 알까말까 하기 때문입니다. 대인관계에 있어, 외부적인 현상들을 보면 상대의 깊이를 알 수 있습니다. 자연적인 현상이기 때문입니다. 사기꾼의 특징은, 말이 많고 아는 게 많아 보이지만, 가만히 들어보면 빈 깡통의 요란한 소리뿐인 것을 알게 됩니다. 인생을 살아가면서 전문분야의 진실한 엔지니어를 만날 수 있다는 것은 커다란 복입니다

코이의 법칙

*코이의 법칙*

관상어 중에 코이라는 잉어가 있어요.
그런데 코이는
작은 어항에 넣어두면
5~8cm 밖에 자라지 않지만
커다란 수족관이나
연못에 넣어두면 15~25cm까지,
그리고 강물에 방류하면
90~120cm 까지 성장 합니다.

같은 물고기인데도
어항에서 기르면 피래미가 되고,
강물에 놓아 기르면
대어가 되는
신기한 물고기가 코이랍니다.
이를 두고 “코이의법칙”이라고 하지요.

사람들 또한
환경에 지배를 받으며 살아갑니다.
본래 사람들은
누구나 100%의 능력을 가지고 있지만,
처한환경으로 인해
10%의 능력도 발휘해 보지 못한 채
생을 마감하는 사람들도 있습니다.

물고기도 노는 물에 따라
크기가 달라지듯이
사람 또한
매일 만나는 사람들과
주변환경과 생각의 크기에 따라
자신이 발휘할 수 있는 능력과
꿈의 크기가 달라지게 됩니다.

그런 점에서
“평균적인 사람은
자신의 일에 자신이 가진 에너지와
능력의 25%를 투여한다고 합니다.

세상은 능력의50%를
쏟아붓는 사람들에게 경의를 표하고,

100%를 투여하는
극히 드문 사람들에게
고개를 숙인다.”고
앤드류 카네기는 말했죠!

지금까지 삶이 만족스럽지 않다면
이젠 주변환경을
바꿔야 할때입니다.
환경에 따라 미래가 바뀌기 때문이죠~!!

성공하고 싶으면
성공한 사람들과
부자가 되고 싶으면
부자들과 친구가 되십시요!

“큰 숲 사이로 걸어가니,
내 키가 더욱 커졌다.”는 말이 있습니다.
꿈꾸는 사람과 함께 하면 꿈이 생겨납니다.
어떤 크기의 꿈을 꾸느냐에 따라
인생도 달라지게 되죠

한 번 뿐인 인생 멋지고
큰 꿈을 위해,
아름다운 삶을 꿈꿔보세요~!!

봄소식: 하나님의 약속

봄소식: 하나님의 약속

1. I will Strenghen you.
내가 너에게 힘(능력)을 주리라.

2. I will Provide for you.
내가 너의 필요를 채우리라.

3. I will Answer you.
내가 너에게 응답하리라.

4. I will Be With you.
내가 너와 함께 하리라.

5. I will give you Rest.
내가 너를 쉬게 하리라.

6. I will Bless you.
내가 너를 축복하리라.

7. I will not Fail you.
내가 너로 실족치 않게 하리라.

8. I Trust in you.
내가 너를 믿는다.

9. I am For you.
내가 너를 위해 있으리라.

10. I Love you.
내가 너를 사랑하노라.

적은 행복, 큰 감사

“걸을 수만 있다면 더 큰 복은 바라지 않겠습니다.

누군가는 지금

그렇게 기도를 합니다.


설 수만 있다면 더 큰 복은바라지 않겠습니다.

누군가는 지금

그렇게 기도를 합니다.


들을 수만 있다면 더 큰 복은 바라지 않겠습니다.

누군가는 지금

그렇게 기도를 합니다.


말할 수만 있다면 더 큰 복은 바라지 않겠습니다.

누군가는 지금

그렇게 기도를 합니다.


볼 수만 있다면 더 큰 복은 바라지 않겠습니다.

누군가는 지금

그렇게 기도를 합니다.


살 수만 있다면 더 큰 복은바라지 않겠습니다.

누군가는 지금

그렇게 기도를 합니다.


놀랍게도 누군가의 간절한 소원을 나는

다 이루고 살고 있습니다.

놀랍게도 누군가가 간절히 기다리는 기적이

내게는 날마다 일어나고 있습니다.


부자 되지 못해도

빼어난 외모 아니어도

지혜롭지 못해도

내 삶에 날마다 감사하겠습니다.


날마다 누군가의 소원을 이루고

날마다 기적이 일어나는

나의 하루를.  삶을



내 삶 내 인생 나…


어떻게 해야

행복해지는지 고민하지 않겠습니다.

내가 얼마나 행복한 사람인지

날마다 깨닫겠습니다.


나의 하루는


나는행복한 사람입니다.


 ~ 언더우드의기도에서 ~