Confidence is concise. Not wordy. Simple. Succinct.

Use the $100 rule.

The best way I can describe ‘condensing’ is that usually we take 10# of sh-t and try to stuff it into a 5# bag. Condensing your message, your speech, and your presentations, your words can make you sound confident. Way back in high school I had 100 minute English classes with 4 foot tall Sister Benita. I think she must have been 100 years old at the time. She had even had taught my father. Her mantra was that each word you use, costs $100, so use them sparingly. Use correct wordage to express exactly what you intend.  Sr. Benita said so.

For the most part, we use a LOT of filler words. Or we go to great lengths to explain something. We all know someone who if you ask them the time, they begin to explain how clocks are built. Great info, but not what I wanted to know. Then there are the confidence killers, the ‘um-ah-you-knows’ that suck the life out of your confidence balloon. Good old Toastmasters, they use a bell technique that quickly breaks you from any filler word bad habit. You can enlist a friend or family member, hand them a bell or just have them say ding each time you use a crutch word. I guarantee that after 2-3 (4-5 if you are really bad) sessions of this you will have a miraculous cure!

Condensing your message is like making consommé, (warning for you non-foodies reading this we are going to go deep into this food analogy).

Take your content, and keep boiling it down to a very flavorful and rich message. Stir your words frequently to bring up impurities or wasted wordiness to the surface.  To ensure total purity of the end presentation, you pass the message through an audience filter adjusted to that specific group. Then let your content sit overnight and check in the morning for any additional needed seasonings or adjustments. Usually, it takes a large amount of information to create a truly fragrant and delicious short message.

(For an actual delicious consommé switch out the content ingredient for beef or poultry bones)

Why condense? People get bored, lose focus, are texting, answering the phone, or checking emails. Your “message” needs to penetrate this world of just in time, just for you, new and improved and all the other buy me now messages that we are bombarded with 24/7. Whether you are networking with one person (elevator-speech) or entertaining a small group (cocktail party, tailgate) or big time event, giving a presentation to a giant room of strangers (keynote), you want to be heard and remembered.

Condensing makes the ‘box’ really small so it’s easier to think outside it.

Let’s go back to the elevator pitch conversation to just one person, even here in this situation a short and sweet sentence or two can open up a wonderful chance to elaborate on your subject with a willing partner, and not someone trying to escape with a … hey got to take this call… No matter who or when you are talking to someone, everyone likes to be entertained. Condensing your message into a creative unusual package opens up the conversation to a more in-depth discussion, which leads to possible sales!

Think of the old show business adage, leave them wanting more. Over-telling turns people off and has them hoping you’ll finally shut up and leave. Condensing takes self-control and the instinct to apply restraint. The goal is them wishing for more time or another meeting with you.