When we present, we want people to know how hard we’ve worked. We want them to know all the friggin’ research we’ve done– and whose ear we have. We want them to know how late we stayed.
The irony is audiences love us you more if we respect their time.
That’s the real gold now. So, how do you grow this skill? What will help you be bright, be brief and be gone?
First think PROFILING. When planning your presentation, ask yourself how much complexity does this audience want? Speak above their knowledge, you’ll lose them. Speak below and you’ll insult their intelligence.
Cut to the chase: What are they really asking: Do they want you to give data or just fix it? Why now? What’s their bias? Are they exacting engineers or marketers obsessing on influence? Strip away the fluff: Why should leadership team make your agenda their priority?
Brand these stats in your brain. Most audiences want no more than 10 slides, 20 minutes, and 6 bullet points per slide. Better yet, make many slides contain ONE killer phrase and image. No font should be smaller than 30. In Q&A, be bright. Be brief. Be gone. Make it elegantly simple and definitely quotable.
Quit complicating it. At the root, audiences just ask three things of you, in this order:
Make me care.Snap me to attention. Why should your stuff get my focus now?
Make me believe. Show me solid evidence. Then convince me You’re The Guy.
Make me act. Leave me something specific to do OR think–by when?
And none of this works in absurdly busy 2014, unless you can be bright. Be brief. Be Gone. If audiences want more–100% of time—they’ll give off “tells”. We’ll know by radar. They’ll come out and ask for more.