One Great Rule

One Great Rule

Crime novelist Elmore Leonard penned ten iconic rules for writing fiction.  The last one jumped out at me as fantastic advice for presenters:

. . . Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.

Boring details have an evil way of sneaking in to any presentation, so before taking the stage it’s always worth doing an edit pass with this rule in mind.  Look for places where you are telling the audience things they already know, and things that are rather obvious (let’s face it not every insight is all that insightful).

When presenting in a boardroom environment you can simply move unnecessary detail to the appendix and pull it up if you need to.

For ballroom presentation you don’t have much to fall back on (maybe Q&A but even that is not a great option).  Try taking out as much as you can, take out 1o% more, and then run it by a neutral listener ahead of time.  If they follow your story, you are in good shape. If not, adjust.

With practice you can get a sense for how to strike the right balance, but asking this question every time can go a long way to keeping the audience interested in your story start to finish.

team Zum