When Less is More

15 Feb

As you know, my daily experiences prompt the majority of my posts.  Tonight, I attended a tw0-hour informative event at my local library.  I attended because I wanted to know more about the subject and had looked forward to learning valuable strategies I could apply to my practice.

The speaker came prepared with a PowerPoint presentation. Both professional and knowledgeable, he held my attention–that is–for the first forty-five minutes.  Then he became repetitive, redundant, and went off on tangents.  I began to get bored.

Just before a brief break, he proceeded to define terminology he assured the audience we needed to know.  As the PowerPoint pages grew longer and more complicated, he lost me.  Had I enrolled in a college course, no doubt I would have needed to know and understand the field-specific vocabulary.  However, as a lay person hoping to gather practical advice, as he went on, and on, and on, all I wanted was out!  Less information would have been much more effective. 

So, when you speak or write, remember to assess your audience.  Determine how much detail they need to know.  Decide which facts stand out as most important; then highlight them. Stick to your topic. Strive for clarity, and re-emphasize only the most salient facts. As you conclude, perhaps your audience will think of new questions they want answered; perhaps they will leave your presentation or writing with a sense of closure and appreciation of a job well done.  But for heaven’s sake, whatever you do, do not let them leave glad their experience has finally ended.

I hope you all had a Happy Valentine’s Day!

JS 🙂


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