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Two ways to simplify your presentation.

February 15, 2010

Simple is important but not easy!

Keeping your presentation simple but not simplistic is important because it helps with both the issue of getting the audience to understand and with getting them to remember your message.  No single “trick” I know or have read about has that much power.

Important yes, easy no, especially when the topic is complicated. And yet, the more complex the topic, the more important it is to simplify it if you want to have impact.

Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.

Charles Mingus
Jazz Legend

So, how can you get there? Sadly, there’s no “do this,” one-size-fits all recipe. But here are two techniques that work:

1. Reduce the content
2. Organize what you present

The reason you can’t find a universal recipe is that what you’re going for is a presentation with only the content you really need to get this message across to this audience.  Different audiences need different content: some need the gory details, some just a top-level look, some you’ll have to struggle to convince, some are ready to be convinced.  (Sneak preview: audience analysis in a future post).  And different messages need different content, too:  different amounts and types of data, different levels of detail, different styles of presentation.

Next time: Less really is more (impact).
The painful process of deciding what to leave out and what to include.

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