January 5, 2010

Keep It Simple Stupid!

In an average 45 minute presentation you only have enough time to convey 3 main points. So the old adage of KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid, is the best advice when you are creating a presentation.

As with most things in life, the simple things are the best.  While you do not want to talk down to your audience, if you can say the same thing in a more simple way, you will be more successful. Avoid using jargon or three letter abbreviations whenever possible, because your audience may not be as familiar with the terminology as you are.

Try not to over complicate your presentation or get across too many independent points at the same time. 

Slides with very detailed or complex diagrams will be very difficult for an audience to see. Too much animation on your slides will become very distracting for most audiences and take away from the impact of your message.

I have seen a number of software demonstrations that attempted to teach people how to use the software rather than showing them why it would be of benefit to their organisation.  In demonstrating software, or any other complex system, there is one golden rule, do not show something unless there is a benefit statement attached.

Once you have created your presentation, run through it one more time and look for ways in which it can be simplified. Remember KISS.

Presentation Training and Coaching is available from the author of this blog. Please visit my presentation training  website.

Give me a day and I’ll change your presentations, forever