Upgrade Your Meetings With Jeff Bezos 6-Page Memo

Beatriz Boavida
Updated Mar 23, 2024
6 min read

Presenting ideas through eye-catching slides has become almost a norm.

Many believe this is an effective way of handling executive meetings to share and debate ideas and proposals. But not Jeff Bezos – oh no! – he became quite famous for challenging and dismantling this belief.

And it is not by chance that many leaders are choosing to adopt Jeff Bezos’ presentation style. His method is based on a simple yet effective idea for promoting productive discussions: written memos instead of PowerPoint presentations. 

I like a crisp document and a messy meeting! Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon

Let’s explore this further.

So, what is wrong with PowerPoint?

PowerPoint is a great sales tool, but it should take the back seat when the goal is successful communication.

Here is why:

Thus, if your goal is to optimise time while promoting a debate of good ideas and identify and eliminate the bad ones, you need a more effective method to guide your meetings. And this is where Amazon's 6-page memo strategy comes in.

What makes memos so effective?

A memo is a well-structured narrative containing comprehensive information about an idea, a proposal, or a project. And that alone makes it a better format to expose both solid reasoning and flaws. 

When making a memo, you (as a writer) are forced to put your ideas into paper. If you wish to persuade the reader, you have to articulate your thoughts between the topics, make the narrative clear to follow, and go deep when explaining details – especially those that can make or break a plan! 

Another win for Jeff Bezos memos is how, through writing, they help you think better and accurately analyse your own words and content and make the iterations necessary. Being a good communicator starts with how you think, and writing can help you improve. There is a reason that great leaders often are great writers and readers.

How to become a memo wizard?

Jeff Bezos 6-page memo was created to ensure productivity and effectiveness in decision meetings. Specifically on the ones where you want to have everyone's insights on the matter.

A great memo is easy to understand and promotes critical thinking. There is a specific structure you can follow to ensure all the content is there and to facilitate its reading. Here is what a Jeff Bezos meeting memo should look like:

The main point of memos is to prepare your team so you collectively can make a good decision.

Making the change to Jeff Bezos meeting memo

Creating change starts with changing habits. 

Typically, people tend to unconsciously have unproductive meetings simply because they do not prepare enough for the meeting and set strict agendas. In most cases, they will finish the meeting with no valuable outcome.

Moving over to Jeff Bezos meeting memo culture implies that you do the reverse of what you are probably used to. There should be a greater effort in the preparation phase and the agenda should have enough room for the team to navigate the topic. The agenda can simply be the questions you have after reading the memo.

We have put together simple steps you can follow to ensure a smooth transition into the “memo culture”:

How to convince your team to use 6-page memos

If you are looking to introduce memos in your company, you may already imagine the resistance you will receive in return.

When you introduce something new to others, people will fight it. It is in our nature. In the case of Jeff Bezos memos, your team might resist because of two reasons:

The best way for you to overcome this initial resistance is by setting the example yourself. Be the one that starts using memo as a regular practice.

Slowly but surely, your team will acknowledge its advantages. They will realise that meetings become more productive and lead to more valuable insights and better decisions.

Once your team is familiar with the approach and sees memos as a benefit, you can challenge them to start owning meetings and using 6-page memos. After all, memos do everything PowerPoint presentations do, plus they allow for enough text to connect the dots.


Compared to PowerPoint, Jeff Bezos’ presentation style - the 6-page memo - is a compelling way of promoting mutual alignment before decisions are made - a crucial step for implementing good ideas.

The foundations for putting Jeff Bezos memos at the centre of your meetings can be summarised as follows: 

Remember consistency is key when building new habits and creating positive change. Set the example first, and your team will follow it ;)

Make your team love mondays!

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