Like most Australians, I imagine, on Wednesday I was waiting expectantly at 3pm for the news websites to announce which party was going to gain the support of Tony Windor and Rob Oakeshott and form government. Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott each gave separate speeches to explain their positions and intentions. At 3:07 the sydney morning herald posted that news that Tony Windsor has given his support to Julia Gillard and the Labour party. Expectantly I thought it would only be another couple of minutes before the voting intentions of Rob Oakeshott would be announced to the world.
It took nearly another twenty minutes before the news was posted. Not due to a technical difficulty but because Rob Oakeshott, no doubt enjoying his time in the limelight, gave a rambling speech – keeping everyone guessing as to his intentions until the very end. Frustrating a lot of people (including me) along the way. Whereas Tony Windsor followed the structure of tell-tell-tell. Tell us who he’s voting for, telll us why he’s voting for them, and concluding by telling us what he’s told us.
In any corporate presentation you need to avoid the trap of building up the suspense. People have busy lives, and they don’t want to wait (and may not have the time to wait ’til the end) to hear what your important messages or take away points are. Instead use the tell-tell-tell structure to ensure your presentation gets the message accross.