Jeff Bezos Describes His Perfect Meeting Your PowerPoint skills won't impress him much.

By Jordan Hart

Key Takeaways

  • Amazon cofounder Jeff Bezos has a specific method for running the "perfect meeting."
  • The billionaire said he prefers to have "messy," wandering meetings at work.
  • But he prefers "crisp" memos over slideshows for meeting presentations.
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Reuters via Business Insider
Jeff Bezos wants to find the truth in his meetings, and he says slideshow presentations aren't the way to go.

This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

Jeff Bezos isn't a fan of using slideshow presentations for meetings.

The billionaire has a very specific way he likes his meetings to run, and the "perfect meeting" starts with days of prepping. Bezos spoke with podcaster Lex Fridman about his preference for crystal-clear memos and long, wandering meetings.

"I like a crisp document and a messy meeting," Bezos said.

New employees at Amazon and his rocket company Blue Origin can expect "the weirdest meeting culture you ever encounter," according to Bezos. They begin with attendees silently studying a six-page memo for 30 minutes followed by a discussion.

Unlike PowerPoints, which Bezos says are easy to create but hard for the audience to get a full understanding, memos require much more time and effort from the author.

This means an employee might spend weeks putting together a six-page memo for a meeting. But, it "has a kind of beauty to it," if done right, Bezos said.

The process allows meeting participants to ask more productive questions and seek the truth instead of "hiding a lot of sloppy thinking in bullet points."

In his efforts to encourage more truth-seeking at work, Bezos recommends people do away with compromise. Instead, they should "try to get to as close to truth as possible."

"We have in our society and inside companies, a bunch of mechanisms we use to resolve these kinds of disputes," Bezos said in the podcast. "A lot of them are, I think, really bad. An example of a really bad way of coming to an agreement is compromise."

Bezos has also implemented a "two pizza rule" into his past work meetings. If two pizzas isn't enough to feed the whole group, there are too many people in the meeting. The rule is meant to increase productivity and help avoid groupthink.

The tech billionaire was succeeded by Andy Jassy as the CEO of e-commerce giant Amazon in 2021. While at the helm, Bezos had a "Day 1" philosophy that encouraged employees to operate with the same speed and risk-acceptance they'd have at a budding startup.

Today, Bezos is Amazon's chairman of the board and uses some of the free time he's gained from not being CEO to get more involved in Blue Origin.

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