putting the FAN in evangelism – spreading your messages by daring to share what you are a FAN of
If you think your presentations are “too big” or “too complex” to be simplified – I encourage you to think again.
I used to think my audience was “too smart” for content to be “dumbed down”. I would try to impress my audience with the sheer bulk and complexity of my content.
I’d studied lot of the latest presentation techniques including Garr Reynolds’s Presentation Zen and I was a big fan of the Steve Jobs streamlined, minimalist style.
I’d studied all sorts of advice – plan on paper (analog – before even starting with a computer and a presentation tool – Keynote or PowerPoint). I’d even read about the benefits of “forced minimalism” by planning on little coloured Post-it notes!
I could see the logic – but I was too busy to plan on paper! My content was too big to fit on a post-it.
But one Saturday I was on a training trip to Singapore. I was recovering from a torn Achilles tendon (the result of a soccer injury) and I just felt like “staying in” rather than my usual running all over Singapore as “Tony Tourist”. I finally had the “gift of time” to put the Presentation Zen techniques to the test – and I was so impressed.
The forced simplicity helped me distil my main messages rather than confusing with “too much information”. By sticking my post-its on a wall I could see “the big picture” at a glance. I could easily re-shuffle the post-its.
By having less content – I could spend more time engaging and connecting with the audience.
It’s not just what you (as presenter) SAY – it’s what your audience REMEMBERS.
The post-it technique helps you distil your content and add variety to keep your audience engaged. With the big picture (of post-its) on the wall in front of you you can see where the content gets too “samey” and you can add variety – a visual or diagram or even better a “real-life photo” (the Appeal of the Real as I like to call it!)
Anyway, if you think your presentation is TOO BIG to be simplified, I encourage you to take the time to try some of the Presentation Zen Techniques.
That’s what it comes down to – taking the time to try something different rather than just falling into your old patterns.
If I hadn’t been slowed down by my Achilles injury and had the time to try the Presentation Zen techniques I would probably have not been converted to the Post-it note technique.
Here’s a link to the benefits of “being slowed down” due to my elite soccer injury. Actually the “real story” is in the post. It’s from another pet project of mine helping busy “corporate” dads be better dads.
Enjoy and I’ll share some more inspiration from Presentation Zen in my next post.