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Speech writing, Connected communication

Your presentation is too simple

Your presentation is too simple Featured Image

Your presentation is too simple

I am going out on a limb here. Someone has told you to use big photographs, few words, fewer numbers in your executive presentation.


Here is the problem with that thinking: It is not always right. Executive presentations need to address the audience and cover the topic to be covered. Those things should dictate style.

So here are some of the things that dictate content density.

Level of audience. Senior executives will take almost any level of detail as long as they don’t have to flip the page. Well-organized content, broke into sections, can deliver a great deal of content in meaty chapters.

Size of audience. Talking to 3 senior executives, give it to them all at once. Presenting to an audience of 15,000 (as some of our clients do), carefully craft only the most salient information – and yes, use big photographs, few words and fewer numbers.

Topic. If the facts matter, present them. For example, sales results and patterns may need to be shown in detail before highlighting the final, salient conclusions.

Credibility. Sometimes people need to see the logic and data to believe. You can diminish the impact of an important data-driven presentation if you skip steps in the analysis process.

Time. If you have 15 minutes, you have to get to the point. If you have an hour, you have more time to make your case and bring people along with you.

English as a second language. If your audience has members that speak English as a second language, numbers are good. Words are bad – or at least riskier. If the audience is an international one communication must be simplified, even at the risk of making it less compelling for native language speakers.

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