I have just finished reading an interesting article on the presentation skills “issues” faced by Geeks. The article comments on how geeks (and I use the term affectionately because I’m a geek at heart) have a tendency to share all the technical detail of the process or component they are discussing in their presentation. To non technical audiences this is excruciatingly painful, and even technical audiences will struggle with the detail that is being described to them.
The challenge, for geeks and non geeks, when preparing a speech or presentation is to strike the right balance on what information needs to be covered in the presentation. The first step to reachhing the balance is to know who your audience is. The closer yor ausience is to the subject the more detail you can cover. The more removed an audience is from a subject the less detail they will be able to comprehend. Don’t get caught in the trap of thinking that your audience will sort through the detail to finds what is relevant to them, they will only switch off. Imagine trying to drink from a fire hydrant – when you deliver a preseentation full of detail you are asking your audience to get the information they need from the detail gushing out at them. You are better served keeping the flow of information at a level that’s manageable for them to consume.
So, when you sit down to write your next speech or presentation answer this question first. Who is your audience?