Increase signal to noise ratio

One of the key concepts in improving your presentation is to increase the signal to noise ratio. This applies to all parts of the presentation; p1, p2 and p3. It’s like tuning the radio properly, the clarity of the message improves.

In p1, the story, it is essential that you communicate the “so what” about the facts and less of the “what?” that distracts from the message you are trying to convey. Too often there is belief that simply reciting a load of data is effective communication. What is required is to strip that down to a message that is clear and memorable.

The supportive media, p2 should similarly support your message not detract from it. That means a similar clarity in the slideset. That means illustrating your message rather than annotating it, taking out icons from every slide, creating clear and simple data slides and even considering turning the slides off to allow the audience simply to listen.

Lastly, the delivery p3 needs to clear. “Noise” in delivery are the filler words, speaking too quickly, body language of turning to face the screen rather than the audience, failing to practise effectively, reading from the slides or a script all of these behaviours distract from the clarity of the message.

Reducing the noise in a presentation allows the message to be clearly heard.




With thanks to Ben Schulz @bnschlz who pointed out that we need to increase signal, which increases the ratio! I’m better at presentations than maths.

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