Keep it Simple, Stupid

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When we agreed to create and deliver presentations, we adopt several significant roles.To create it,  

  • We serve as “engineers”: figuring out what to say and how to say it. We had to wade through lots and lots of data and details in order to determine what are the most important elements.  For instance, engineering a car or plane involves thousands of parts, but the buyers and users don’t need to know all the details.
  • We serve as “designers”: figuring out how to deliver the content. We address format – how does the message get presented so it flows without being overloaded. How to use graphics – charts and pictures, colors, fonts, etc. to enable the audience to understand important facts and nuances.
  • We serve as ”communicators”:  figuring out what the audience needs to know. What’s important now for the audience to reach its decision.  We also have to facilitate influence: figuring out which are the key messages that our audience will need to share with team members so they can act on the presentation’s recommendations.
  • As “leaders” we need to make a presentation in a way that allows us to exclude our “executive presence” and “authenticity”, to maximize impact.
  • As speakers, we need to take into account the audience’s readiness to accept our message, and how the setting (e.g., time of day, place, media, etc.) and our personal presence (e.g., appearance, tone, pacing, eye-contact, body language, etc.) all effect the impact we will have on our audience.
  • As “ evaluators”, we need to specify what indicators will be used to measure the success of the presentation, and embed them into the situation so we can easily collect the data.

One reason so many presenters are not as successful as they should be is that they don’t follow the advice of Albert Einstein: “If you can’t explain something simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”  Understand the hard work that goes into each of these roles, and commit to it. Then you can “Keep It Simple” – and hit the impact bulls-eye.

When you have a mission-critical presentation, if you need help, contact us for training!