by: William Singleton
There is profound beauty in the simple. A lone flower bursting through an early spring snowfall; a flock of geese flying south for the winter; or a single rose on an otherwise ordinary bush. The power of simplicity should never be overlooked - some of the most lasting and powerful messages are conveyed through simple means.
When designing presentations for any size audience, from 1 to 1000+, the ability to communicate important (even complex) information in a simple way can be extremely powerful. I’m the first to admit my tendency to make a presentation “intellectual or slick” in an attempt to impress an audience. However, I have learned over time that my attempts come up short when I neglect to keep it simple. Sure, I may have used big words and impressive charts and graphs, and even threw in a few timely and sometimes humorous anecdotes. But, in the end, did they walk away with the key information I was trying to relay? Probably not.
What I have found is that for me to be at my best and to convey powerful messages, I have to keep it simple.
- What are the 3-4 points that I want my audience to take home? Too many points can make it difficult for me, and the audience, to stay focused.
- What is the best image or case that I can use to convey each of those points? Find something that they connect to – make it stick!
- Can I create a compelling story that reinforces my points and leaves a lasting impression? Identify why it’s important and why they should care.
Whether I’m giving a keynote presentation or explaining to my five-year-old why she has to clean up after she plays, the same principals apply.
If the goal is to be profound, to say words or convey ideas that will make the deepest impact, we must keep it simple.