Don’t Be Boring!

Don't Be Boring and Lose Business

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So, what’s the solution?  Work at not being boring.  

1.  Be more colorful—in your dress, your speech, your writing.

2.  Lead with your main point.  

Don’t bury your message in the middle of your e-mail, report, or presentation.  State your mission and then explain why it’s important as directly and concisely as possible.

3.  Be humorous. 

Gentle humor engages and piques people’s interest.  (Caveat: learn how to read a room and make sure you keep things workplace appropriate.) 

4.  Use interesting anecdotes to illustrate your meaning.  

There’s nothing like a dramatic cautionary tale to drive a point home.

5.  Understand what your audience is most concerned with and work it into your message.   

You know how you always find people who are interested in you fascinating—whether it’s on a first date or a job interview?  Same principle.  

6.  Try something different.  

The more comfortable you are with your message or presentation or systems, the more boring it probably is.  If you’ve memorized it, you’re probably not even listening to yourself any more and likely aren’t aware that you’re droning on in front of a room full of people who are desperate for happy hour to arrive.

7.  Don’t be afraid to be a little weird.  

Idiosyncrasies make us memorable and as long as you’re not disruptively odd you’ll stand out among a sea of uniforms.  

8.  Embrace disagreement.  

As Michel de Montaigne said, “There is no conversation more boring than the one where everybody agrees.”  Our business is a very subjective one—think of all the books you’ve loved that various friends have hated—so it’s not unusual for our staff meetings to devolve into open hostilities.  Rage inducing?  Maybe. But also valuable in terms of overcoming our own blind spots.

While we can’t expect our business lives (or any other aspect of our human experience, for that matter) to be boredom-free, we can be more engaging and engaged.  Doing so, I’m pretty sure will pay dividends—and keep us from having to overdose on caffeine just to get through your average meeting.

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About the author

Miriam Goderich

Miriam Goderich is a partner in Dystel, Goderich & Bourret LLC, a well respected, New York based literary agency with an impressive client list.  She is involved in developing new projects and taking them from the conceptual stage to publication and her areas of interest include literary and commercial fiction as well as some genre fiction, narrative nonfiction, pop culture, psychology, history, science, art, business books, and biography/memoir. Miriam received a BA in Comparative Literature and an MA in English from Columbia University. She was born in Cuba and grew up in Spain and Miami, Florida.

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