Keep it SIMPLE! How to prepare and present effective and concise content to your audience [Speak on the Shoulders of Giants]
A good public speaker usually shares the same traits with a good leader.
In fact, some of the most memorable speeches in history were done by a lot of important leaders, like CEOs and Heads of State.
These people understood what it took to lead a country or organization, and communicated their ideas and messages in a simple and effective way for their constituents to comprehend.
One of the most challenging aspects of writing and giving a speech is making sure that you present and deliver the message in a way that people would be able to easily understand.
A speech may contain complex ideas that may be challenging to understand, but great speakers have the ability to express themselves effectively. Great speakers also know when and how to use any audio or visual aids during their presentations.
One of the main problems that a lot of speeches and presentations have is the tools used to supposedly supplement the presentation. For example, some speakers will show complicated slides filled with text and images that take hours upon hours to create.
These slides may provide your audience with additional data, but when you put too many details all in one slide or include unnecessary information, your presentation actually becomes counterproductive.
It will only distract or confuse your audience who focus on your slides rather than understanding your message.
Creating effective speeches and presentations is not that difficult. Just follow what former General Electric CEO Jack Welch did to streamline the communication and presentation process at GE, which saved the firm countless hours.
Keep Things Simple
Welch eliminated any form of unproductive work, sped up processes, and realigned the goals of his employees.
It was important to remove anything that clogs up communication within the organization. They needed to eliminate unnecessary layers in management and employee relations.
Establishing more direct communications encouraged each employee to be more confident in communicating with each other and their leaders.
As Welch said:
How do you incorporate this into your speech or presentation?
By being a simple yet effective communicator. This means getting straight to the point, using clear language, and concise statements.
Being a great listener is also important, as communication is a two-way street that can help you engage with your audience much better.
Great speeches are impactful, yet easy to understand. By keeping things simple, you can be more direct, while eliminating other unnecessary details.
Another company process that was simplified in GE was how employees presented their reports. At their 1986 officers’ meeting, Welch tasked the top 100 executives at the company to prepare a one-page report for each of the five key questions:
- What are your market dynamics globally today, and where are they going over the next several years?
- What actions have your competitors taken in the last three years to upset those global dynamics?
- What have you done in the last three years to affect those dynamics?
- What are the most dangerous things your competitor could do in the next three years to upset those dynamics?
- What are the most effective things you could do to bring your desired impact on those dynamics?
Each report needed to show just one simple chart.
Five charts per business unit were all their management team needed to understand exactly what was going on with GE’s operations.
If a large multinational conglomerate such as GE could summarize their operations in just five charts per business unit, a presentation on a single topic doesn’t need to have a hundred slides overloaded with information.
When you consciously choose to keep presentations short, you make the effort to only present data in a pithy manner, ensuring your audience immediately understands your point.
Furthermore, when creating the slides for your presentation, going for the “less is more” approach is the best technique, as we mentioned in one of our previous articles on Speak on the Shoulder of Giants.
The more concise and direct you are, the more you’re able to make your presentation relatable to your audience. You can achieve this by lessening the number of bullets per slide, or using graphs and charts that are easy to understand.
Slides and visuals are designed to enhance your presentation, and keeping them simple prevents them from becoming too distracting while getting your point across effectively to your entire audience.
Effective communication isn’t about just stating your points or ideas; it’s about making sure your audience understands your message.
About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Wednesdays: Speak on the Shoulders of Giants”
In a meeting with one person
…a boardroom with five people
…or a huge venue with hundreds of people
—whatever the situation or setting, it’s very important to learn and eventually master the art of public speaking.
No matter what, you always need to effectively get your message across.
What good is a presentation with awesome content if you don’t deliver it properly?
Every Wednesday, we publish different tips, insights, and secrets on how you can improve your presentation skills to captivate your audience and lead interesting discussions.
The need for great presentation skills applies EVERYWHERE.
(Small meetings with your team, big meetings with your boss, an important marketing pitch, speaking engagements for events with a big audience, etc.)
Learning these skills is not just for the corporate world. Being in other industries such as the Arts, Information Technology, Medicine, and Education while knowing how to present well will definitely give you an edge.
Have that advantage.
Hope you’ve found this week’s public speaking tip interesting and helpful.
Stay tuned for next Wednesday’s Speak on the Shoulders of Giants!
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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