More today on this concept of orderliness that Templeton touches upon in Step 9 of The Templeton Plan, “Utilizing Two Principles of Success.” Here are two exercises that can boost your business acumen instantly if you can put them into practice.

Pretend you are sending a cable; that is one of the best methods for learning economy of speech. Cables are charged for by the word. Soon you will eliminate extraneous clauses, unnecessary words, and other forms of fuzzy thinking. You’ll begin to drive your points home with a force you never realized was within your power.

The persevering person will learn that in speaking and writing it is important to keep an outline in mind: This is idea one, idea two, idea three, and this is the basic point I’m making. By using such a technique, you will be sure to present your ideas in a logical sequence. If you use the loose style of normal conversation, your audience will be left wondering what you were trying to say.

The outline approach is particularly useful when making business telephone calls. In the years when Templeton was working eighty-four-hour weeks, he was dealing with literally hundreds of stockbrokers by telephone. The ones who said what they had to say succinctly and got off the phone quickly were the ones he tended to call back. He knew that dealing with them wouldn’t waste valuable time.

[Editor’s note: for a good example of Sir John’s style of speaking, watch any of the videos in the menu on the right. You’ll see that he really does have a deliberate sense of economy in choosing his words. Also note: 84 hour weeks! That’s perseverance!]