PPP#2 — Just to make sure

Persistent Presentation Paradigm #2: “I have to play it safe, can’t afford to be vulnerable. I rather put everything on a slide — just to make sure.”

If that's the case then our audience doesn't need to hear our presentation. Why not send them a report, and avoid presenting at all? If we are sitting on a plane that’s about to fall in the Hudson, would we tell the passengers evertyhing that could possibly happen? Or would we rather provide the best, and the most vital information we can give? That might sound extreme. But, when we are presenting, time is always limited and we are to present something new, different, better, important, or essential.

What counts is if our listeners find it useful, informational, and worthwhile. They should understand what we are trying to convey, and most importantly, they have to be able to relate to our talk. Our job is to cherry-pick the things they need to know, what matters, and what’s relevant to them — to them, not to us! After all, no one likes to read the whole manual, and don’t we all avoid the fine print if we can?

Paule Wendelberger