This is the third installment of Ian Griffin’s four part series helping you to inform your audience without boring them. Read the series from the start.
Having considered the two categories of presentations where minimal information is provided, let’s now move to consider what happens when there is more information to include. Ideally, this should be communicated in a clear and concise manner, but the audience is often overwhelmed with data that lacks clarity.
Most executives want to communicate as much information as quickly as possible. They are inclined to include as much of the data, facts and statistics as they can fit into the allotted time. They consider presentations with little information a waste of time. This is especially true of the Subject Matter Expert who often confuses people as they bury the audience in a mass of data.
Subject experts often present too much information. They think that speaking to inform is merely creating lists of dry facts, in bullet form, and reading them aloud. Rather than loading the speech with facts, give the audience a white paper or printed report handout with the data. The fundamental error many corporations make is to put subject experts in front of customers to explain their products.
If you need to present complex information, follow these simple rules for maximum impact.
An extreme example of information being presented in a rapid, incomprehensible manner are the legal disclaimers read out at the end of some radio ads. There are a surprising number of presentations given in the corporate world which sound like this. Remember, the answer to having too much information is to summarize and simplify the content, not to speak faster.
Read part 4 of the series here.
A veteran speechwriter and executive communications specialist, Ian Griffin helps CEOs and senior managers develop strategic messaging and content for presentations to audiences worldwide. He is Past-President of the Northern California Chapter of the National Speakers Association and an active member of Toastmasters. Ian has spent more than 20 years working with mainstream Silicon Valley companies such as Cisco, Hewlett-Packard and Sun Microsystems. His Professionally Speaking blog is found at http://www.exec-comms.com/blog.