Narrative Memos Replace PowerPoints at Amazon | Extraordinary Business

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

Meetings…. UGH!  More than not, they feel like a necessary “evil” most especially when you are a part of multiple teams or a part of a large organization.  But it’s not the meeting itself that’s the problem, rather it’s more often how it’s run and in what format the information is delivered.

Meetings can be quite productive when there is a loose agenda to guide conversation and everyone agrees to delay in-depth discussions to a later time in order to work through the agenda as quickly as possible.  Starting with the most important items first ensures those critical topics are addressed and provides time for conversations to delve into deeper discussions without derailing the agenda all together.

Another way to ensure a meeting is effective is to deliver the content in a narrative-storytelling fashion.  That format may seem at first to be counter-productive (after all, who wants to potentially extend a meeting by making the information more descriptive), but Jeff Bezos, Founder & CEO of Amazon, swears by it!

Bezos banned PowerPoint presentations at his executive meetings and instead replaced it with a “six-page memo that’s narratively structured with real sentences, topic sentences, verbs and nouns.”  During his meetings, the executives are handed the memo at the beginning and sit silently for about 30 minutes reading it.  Only after everyone is done reading it will they open the meeting for discussion.

Carmine Gallo wrote an article about Bezos’ decision in Inc. Magazine titled “Jeff Bezos Banned PowerPoint in Meetings. His Replacement Is Brilliant.”  Gallo shows why narrative-storytelling in business is so much better than the normal approach of bullet points to share ideas.

As a fellow writer and published author, I know the power of storytelling and the importance of crafting a message in a descriptive way that stimulates a person’s emotions and brain. When done right, the message stays with you longer (if not forever) and certainly fast-tracks the processing of that information.  The best lesson I ever learned through some of the writing trainings I attended is this:  SHOW them, don’t tell them!  Which is exactly what Gallo and Bezos are aiming for.

Click here to read Gallo’s article and judge his perspective for yourself.

Kris Cavanaugh Castro is the People Development Coach at Aepiphanni, the trusted advisor for business leaders who are seeking forward-thinking solutions to help them plan for and navigate through the challenges of business growth.  Kris has over 25 years of coaching, training and mentoring leaders to greater success; and she periodically writes about leadership development and facilitates change management conversations.

You are the Captain of your ship, your business is a culmination of your ideas and goals, expertise, and the effective sales and marketing of your goods and services. Understanding that, your employees need to have a clear direction in their individual jobs so that the entire crew pulls together. It takes great management and leadership to keep everyone working smoothly together and always sailing toward your destinations. With Aepiphanni Ascend Extraordinary Leadership Program, you will learn new skills in managing your employees, guiding and helping each member of your team to do their best and give their all so you don’t need to micromanage or feel you’re out of control when it comes to your team members individual performance.

Aepiphanni’s Ascend Extraordinary Leadership Program is tailored to your individual business needs, taking into account everything from managerial structure right down to working with various personalities. This Program is an investment in the future of your business’s success, making changes today that will have positive effects for decades to come. By learning new ways to solve problems, having faster decision-making, team-building to create a highly productive and motivated workforce, you will see your business start to run like a well-manned ship on its way to bigger and better success.

To learn more, click here: Ascend Leadership Development.

We would love to hear from you.  Please share your thoughts and comments below.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.