Has anyone ever told you to K-I-S-S?
Keep It Simple, Stupid.
I was lucky enough to attend the presentation guru Garr Reynolds’ ‘Presentation Zen’ Seminar in London on Wednesday this week. It was so refreshing to leave feeling clear headed and optimistic rather than the headache of information overload I can feel after attending a seminar. The simple reason for this, was that Garr kept it, well, simple. That doesn’t mean I learnt any less; I learnt more. Simplicity shouldn’t carry the negative connotations that it is easily associated with it in business, rather it should be seen as the desire for clarity. As Leonardo da Vinci said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Or as Einstein pointed out, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t know it well enough.”
Here at Present.me HQ we also maintain that simplicity is the best policy (‘simple’ is one of our brand keywords), and we implore you to adopt this mantra in your own presentations. Remember that the reason you are delivering a presentation is most likely because you know something that the people watching and listening don’t. Otherwise why would you waste each other’s time? You are the expert and they are expecting to learn something from you.
Think about the most effective messaging in your presentations- for example, think about a recent advertising slogan that sticks out in your mind. Is it paragraphs long, or is it a few words?
In other words, what is more effective? This:
Or this slide:
I’m being unkind here as these two images were for completely different purposes, but you get the idea. An image speaks a thousand words.
The not-so-good news is that to create the simple can take a lot of work. Think Apple products. Simple to use, but not so simple to design (but luckily we don’t have to worry about that!)
The good news is that through simplicity you can inspire and motivate change, and after all, isn’t that why we all do these presentations in the first place?
Please let me know your thoughts and ideas by commenting on this blog, and look out for our presentme Voxpops from the Presentation Zen Seminar which will be up on the Present.me website soon.