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Blot, Blot, BLOT.

Jeff Bezos always uses a technique called BLOT (Bottom Line on Top) in his emails and presentations and teaches it to everyone at Amazon. Why? Because it works.

So, what is BLOT? Two simple steps. 

  • 1. Identify the single most critical thing your reader or viewer needs to know. 
  • 2. Put that into one or two short sentences at the very beginning and make it BOLD.

Most people bury the most important information at the end of an email or presentation behind a ton of less useful background stuff…where it promptly gets lost. Come on, be honest! Admit that you seldom read an email carefully all the way to the end. You take in the first couple of sentences and then skim. Presentations are usually even worse. First five slides are engaging. But by the end of a long one, you’re thinking about dinner and trying to remember what’s on your Netflix watch list.

So put the best stuff front and center. Right there where your audience can’t miss it. You can fill in all the details later. This is similar to the old journalism technique of putting the “5 W’s” (Who, What, When, Where, and Why) right there in the first paragraph. That technique, for example, ensured you knew that “Three armed men escaped with $75,000 from the Main Street branch of First National Bank on Tuesday.” Details to follow. You had what you needed for now.

Or think about your last airline ticket. It told you critical information…airline, flight number, departure time, destination and arrival time, terminal and gate number. Maybe your seat number. Enough info to get you to the airline check-in desk with a minimum of confusion. From then on, those big electronic boards post all the information that’s subject to change. You have what you need.

I challenge you to give BLOT a try for the next two weeks. See if you don’t get better responses to your emails and better engagement when you give a presentation. After all, it works for Amazon.

ISI Consulting

Holly Hayes, President & Founder
ISI Consulting

PS – Sign up now for our May 6th – 10th on-line facilitation training via Zoom.