Less is more. Again

less is moreLess is more. “Clean, uncluttered lines” is a design motif that appeals aesthetically. The same should be applied to the story (p1). More words, more facts, more explanation does not make more clarity, rather the converse. The aim should be to deliver a clear, uncluttered message. Less is more.

There should be a clear difference between a document and a presentation. There is neither the time nor ability to deliver the same volume of information. A great presentation requires a distillation of facts turning the “what” into a “so what” for the specific audience. It is about constructing a message rather than a massive data download, rather than giving the whole website, share the url.

To achieve this there clearly needs to be simplicity in the message. This is a challenge for complex topics but defines the role of the presenter as interpreter and not translator. A great presentation is made by finding within the large volume of data the clear uncluttered message that the audience can take from the auditorium. Importantly this is not all the data, it is not about covering the Reichstag.

One technique to meet this reduction is to consider what would be discussed if only a fraction of the time was available, say 10 minutes instead of 20. Define only the essential. This often proves challenging but highlights concerns of data transfer and not a message. There is more value in an audience understanding a message, upon which facts can be added later, than taking away large numbers of facts with little understanding. Less facts, more specific messages will connect and engage and enthuse an audience more than lists of data. Less is more.

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