The Kindle and Signposting

I use a lightweight Kindle for my reading. It’s so convenient, it can store hundreds of books, you can enlarge the text, click for a dictionary definition whenever you encounter a “big” word and download new ones on the fly.

However it’s tricky to gauge where you are in the book, and how much more there is to go. You can do this with a physical book, of course. You can see how many pages there are, how bulky the book is and how small the text is.

But that’s all changed – a new software upgrade gives you two clever indications at the bottom of the screen – have a look below.


It shows you in percentage terms how far you are in the book and approximately how long will it take you to finish the chapter.


The parallel is selling on the telephone or from video. The customer can’t see you or the image is grainy, so we need to tell the customer where we are in their interaction with you. I call it signposting.

  • Signpost at the beginning of the call by explaining what might happen next and then after that, how much time the call might take.
  • Signpost throughout the call by explaining what you’ve done so far and what the next step is. Paraphrase and summarise regularly.
  • During periods of silence, explain what’s happening, for example, when you’re accessing some system information. But please don’t blame the silence on the system slowing down. That always sounds derogatory towards you and the company.

Another advantage of the Kindle is that people don’t know what you are reading. That was particularly useful when I read 50 Shades of Grey a couple of years ago.