Sticky Presentations bite size article: Take a bite at simple

Take a bite at simple

Jun 20, 2015

Think of an apple. It is simple. A beginning of all ideas that eventually become insanely great ideas. This is also where everything begins in visual communication, such as our presentation. An apple, is deliciously simple and real. Something that everyone can understand and relate to. And so should our presentation content.

Henry M. Boettinger, author of Moving Mountains: The Art and Craft of Letting Others See Things Your Way, quoted, "It's unwise to merely dump a pile of unconstructed information into the laps of your audience." Isn't this what we often do in our presentation slides? —dumping a pile of unconstructed information... and hoping that somehow our audience will understand.

We live in a complex world. A world where everything is over complicated. The complexity is everywhere, and we realised it even in the way we communicate. Effective communication is about delivering ideas in simple and easy to understand messages. It is about information, not data. It is about quality, not quantity. It is about clarity, not confusion. In all, it is about understanding the emotion and intentions behind the information, and how we choose to communicate it to our audience.

An idea may evolve in complexity over time. But we need to keep the focus of our objectives as we continue our journey. Do not let complexity take control over your painfully defined objectives or steer you away from getting to the end. The process of getting to the end requires preparation and staying on course. It is not always an easy task, but it helps you to present better and gives the audience a greater experience listening to you.

Let your audience see clearly the information you are communicating. Don't make them read. Showing every word that you want to say in your presentation visuals is not a good idea. Reserve the extra texts for a document that you will give to your audience as takeaway materials. In your visuals, keep it simple.

Taking a bite is easier to digest than eating the whole apple in one go. Showing simple bite size information is a more effective way to communicate compared to showing everything at once. Through communicating specific information, we want to improve teamwork, decision making, and problem solving. And when information is presented in simple and meaning form, it enables us to communicate even negative or difficult messages without creating conflict or destroying trust.

Stay focused. Take a bite.

The author, ANG Tian Teck is a coach, trainer, and speaker, specialising in inspiring organisations and business leaders to deliver high impact presentations. He has coached, trained, and infected over 10,000 individuals across the region with his Amazing Sticky Presentations approach. Tian Teck is also the author of two books, Sticky Presentations, and Spinning I.D.E.A.S.

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