Sometimes it takes the wisdom of years to have an epiphany. I had one of those recently when it comes to our day-to-day business conversations (although it applies to public speaking as well). All business conversation (spoken and written) boil down to just two admonishments:
1. Only say things that will contribute to spinning the invoice printer.
2. Never say things you would not want repeated as testimony in a lawsuit where you are a defendant.
The second also could be phrased as never say anything that will accelerate the checkwriter, except that is a bit too exclusive—it ignores the concept of incarceration.
Why do we say anything else? We want to appear clever or witty (self-aggrandizement), don’t want to be dull, desire variety, and so forth and so on. Yet in reality, all business conversation distills to these two items. Anyone you see who is fired, on a witness stand, in jail for business malfeasance, and so forth most likely violated one of these two simple statements.
Like I said, it was an epiphany for me.