Parents, before & after kids:
What’s your reaction to these photos? Amusement? Horror? Distastefulness? Annoyance? I’m sure everyone has a different reaction based on his or her own values and beliefs. I did think twice before posting these, because to a certain extent, they are distasteful, but they help me make my point.
If this was a speech or presentation and these were the slides I’d prepared, the point I’d be making is that being a parent is hard work – it takes its toll on you physically and mentally. Just in case my children ever read this, I’d then show you something else that helps illustrate the point that it’s more than worth it and it’s the best thing that can ever happen to you too ☺
The real point I want to make is the power of an analogy. In this case an analogous image. With a good image, you get the point in an instant, no need to think. In this case, “That’s funny, they look haggard and they’ve got babies, ergo, babies are hard work.” With a really good image it will do that on one level, but it can also do quite the opposite too. It stops you and makes you think – “If that’s the downside of parenting, what’s the upside?”. “Those are the faces from that drugs campaign – I wonder if any of them are parents? What sort of life are their children going to lead?” and so on and so forth.
So, when using an analogy / metaphor / simile, think about using an image to back up your words – it can add another subtle layer of depth to your presentation and hook your audience in deeper. Don’t get caught up in the detail of your analogy – if you scrutinize it too much, it will probably fall apart. If it makes the broad point quickly then go with it.
Present.me co-founder Charlie Simpson gives us his top presentation tip of the week- ‘Try to say everything and you’ll end up saying nothing’.
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.