Why Saying Less Will Communicate More
The reason a lot of presentations struggle to capture an audience is because content is king but it’s treated as an afterthought. Communicating a clear message is the most important and most forgotten aspect of a presentation.
‘After twenty minutes of droning on, I don’t even know what he told us’
So how do we ensure that we’re communicating and not just talking?
By giving just the content that is relevant to the topic or message. Being able to break knowledge into small, easily digested parts is one of the indicators of an expert. Say less than you know and your expertise will still shine through because you are able to identify what your audience needs.
Writing a presentation can give a myriad of feelings. You write great anecdotes and facts and supporting material. And you want to keep it all – it’s awesome stuff! But, you need to cut it
, and that can be a bit painful.
When you start writing a script for a presentation you need to identify the one, single message you want to communicate. Only one per presentation. As you write and later edit, you need to be honest with yourself and briefly feel the discomfort of crossing off any paragraphs, sentences or words that don’t contribute to your message. Your audience will thank you for it. They will remain engaged for longer and will often find that you take up less of both their and your time.
Ever felt nervous before speaking in front of an audience?
A possible factor is that you’re not completely confident in your content. If you’re speaking with poorly thought-through material, you’re setting yourself up for a lot of nervousness. When you have clarity of your message and what you want to convey, that will show in your voice and manner, giving you more confidence and feeling better about the whole experience.
All the flashy presentation skills in the world won’t save you if your message is not clear and actively communicated. Stop presenting and start communicating. Stop filling in the time you are given and start taking the time you need.