I like speakers who are clear and direct, who look comfortable (so I don’t have to worry about them) and who recognize the need to keep my attention (I can learn while being entertained); who don’t jam their presentations with convoluted ideas (huh?) and slide shows filled with overloaded bullet points (I can’t even read that!). Is this too much to ask?
Now, you are probably thinking, “Hello, who DOESN’T agree with that?” But, why then are we consistently forced to listen to dense, jam-packed, poorly delivered and anti-intuitive presentations? After years of working with clients, I do have some thoughts to share:
1) This is really HARD. Clear communication requires constant distillation to make complex ideas simple, without being simplistic.
2) We are hardwired to spend 99% of our time thinking about ourselves. It’s not our fault, but it makes organizing a good audience-centric presentation very challenging.
3) We have been trained to see feedback as negative and therefore avoid it.
Good speakers recognize it takes TIME to distill ideas for optimal impact. It takes CLARITY to find the real message in the ocean of thoughts, and it takes CONFIDENCE to ask for feedback. My advice: Start. Keep it simple. Get Feedback.