Distractive Becomes Destructive in Presentations

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When it comes to presentations, distractive clutter often becomes destructive when it comes to impact.

Great presentations succinctly and powerfully communicate a story that engages the audience and motivates tit to take the desired action: to buy a product, service or idea. Failing presentations often include information that’s not central to the decision-making process and/or present the information in a way that makes it difficult to comprehend the essence of the message and its urgency. Wasting people’s time, emotions and decision-making energies destroys the presentation’s ability to persuade the audience because listeners aren’t able to distinguish what is essential to making a decision and what is clutter.

Why do some presenters include clutter? With good intentions – trying to help the audience – they don’t focus on the audience’s need to know but instead focus on their fear of possibly leaving out something that they considered in reaching their decisions – regardless of whether the audience really needs to know it. Instead of focusing on making the message succinct, powerful, and urgent – to motivate the audience, they get lost in their own “weeds”, rather than the “garden”.

Adding information that isn’t helpful to the audience can distract them from what is important – and destroy the power of the presentation to persuade the audience. Compelling presentations combine what is essential from a logical and emotional point of view to make a decision. Cluttered presentations distract the audience from what is essential; they become destructive, when the audience no longer feels the importance and urgency.

This is the reason experts tell presenters to focus on benefits and not get lost in the features. This also is why presentations allotted a set amount of minutes, but go much longer, often fail.

Compelling presentations are Audience-Driven (the first half of our ADAP formula; Authentic Presentations is the second half). So focus on the audience’s need to know and best method of understanding your point. Eliminate what’s not essential; otherwise you won’t get what you want: A winning presentation.

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