Earlier this month I attended the Presentation Summit in my hometown, San Diego. 180 Presentation Designers and Coaches met to feast on tips and tricks to turn presentations into a better communication tool. My next few blogs will contain goodies that I gleaned from this amazing conference.
The most important take-away was the notion of SIMPLICITY. Nolan Haims, a presentation rockstar, challenged us to think about which pieces of art, design, music, or speeches become iconic vs. those that fade into the landscape almost instantly. Why did Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King Jr. and Nike have so much more success than others? The answer lies in one of the hardest objectives to achieve: Simplicity. In today’s world of 24-hour information overload, we need to deliver absolute clarity in our messages and in our visual communication.
Condense your take-away message into a bumper sticker
- As a dental or medical speaker, it is imperative that you have a laser focus on the single gift you are sharing with your audience. As you review your lecture, ask yourself “does everything contribute to this message, or can I cut out ancillary points and save them for another day”?
- It takes courage and bravery to remove material from a lecture because we think the more we deliver, the happier the audience will be. However, if your audience can’t repeat your main message as they walk out the door, you’ve essentially wasted the opportunity.
Simple imagery is “sticky”
- Our brains think in images, not text. For instance, when you think of a dog, do you think of the image of a dog, or the letters “d-o-g”? Furthermore, if you are speaking and your audience is reading, what do you think is happening in their brains? Because most of us are visual learners, the reading part of the brain is winning and you have just made yourself irrelevant. If you can use a simple image for each slide that has some meaning or relevance to what you are saying, you will keep the audience’s attention and be providing a delivery pathway into their longer term memory.
- If you must use some text, pare it down to as few words as possible and use relational spacing or a clean slide for each message. This will allow your audience to grasp the point and focus on you.
Simplicity achieves change
- A confused mind always says no. The more work you make someone do, the less likely they are willing to do it. As a healthcare speaker, you have the privilege of sharing information with your peers that will improve patient care. It takes thoughtful work to find the balance between too much information that will become “noise” and too little information that leaves room for doubt.
Laser Pointer’s goal is to help create communication, not slides. We will work with you to simplify your message using simple imagery, clean slides and stories that will help your message stick.