May 042016

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 10.23.25 AMI am a fan of the book China in Ten Words by the Chinese novelist Yu Hua (translated by Allan H. Barr). A delightful little book.

I have not yet been to mainland China. When I go, I will tuck this valuable little book into my carry-on. It can easily be read during the flight across the pond, and is well worth the time.

For a talk to the leadership team of the Point B management-consulting firm recently, I decided to use Mr. Yu’s template.

I was trying to respond to a request to foster a “broad and deep” understanding of what is going on in the economy — global, national, and at the U.S. regional level. Never easy to do in 45 minutes.

At the start of my 45-minute talk, I reflected briefly on each of the ten words (or phrases, to be precise) as an aid in conveying a lot of information and understanding in a short time.

Trying something new always involves risk. The jury is still out on the use of the template, but my presentation was well-received.

In response to my request for feedback, Point B CEO Mike Pongon emailed me both generous praise and constructive criticism. With his permission, I quote an excerpt:

Nearly every person I spoke to after your presentation said it was valuable, insightful, and helpful. Your ability to deliver complex information in a way that makes sense to non-economists was strong and helpful.

Thanks, Mike. I will incorporate your thoughtful suggestions into future presentations.

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