This Extreme Editing Exercise Can Help You Nail Your Core Message

A fun, but challenging method for finding focus

Robin Konie
4 min readApr 27, 2021
Photo by Chase Clark on Unsplash

I looked up at the clock. 11:58. Only two more minutes before the world’s most boring meeting would finally end.

As I started quietly gathering my things, I felt my spirits lift at the thought of my lunch waiting for me in my office. All was good until I heard her voice.

“Can I just say something real quick?” she said.

Oh no, I thought. Not Linda.

Linda was brilliant, kind, and a great asset to the team, but she never said anything “real quick.”

She was notorious for minute-long pauses in between thoughts as she carefully crafted her ideas.

She always had to insert several stories to get even the most basic point across.

Linda liked to ramble.

I felt my heart drop at the realization that my lunch would be waiting for at least another 15 minutes while she took her sweet time to tell us something that could easily be shared in a three-sentence email.

We’ve all been there — stuck in the middle of a lecture, conversation, meeting, or presentation where the speaker will not get to the point.