Getting Over Yourself

March 14, 2013

Simple isn’t easy but it’s vital

Filed under: Tips — Barbara Rocha @ 11:45 am
Tags: , , , , ,

An article in February 2013 Wired magazine (The Simple Complex by Mat Honan) starts with, “Simple doesn’t just sell, it sticks.”  He gives some great examples of technology that has gotten more complex not because it became any better but because it could be done and it made the marketing department happy.

Two quotes from the article that apply perfectly to speaking: “Simplicity is about subtraction.” This from Mike Monteiro, author of “Design is a Job.” And (from Mat Honan), “Simplicity is actually quite simple. It requires paring things away . . . . It means removing layers rather than adding them. In short, all it takes is a bit of courage.”

He’s making the case that marketing pushes much of the complexity so you can have something “new” and “better” and “bigger” and “faster.”

But it’s true as well in speaking. While it may not be marketing that’s behind our complex presentations it may be ego (“look how much I know”), or fear (“maybe I won’t look smart enough and I’ll lose my job or the audience won’t find me credible”), or the need to be thorough. And the result is the same–a lot of product (your presentation) that overwhelms or bores your audience while you miss out on the great connections you can make with your audience by keeping it simple.

As Mat Honan says, “Simple doesn’t just sell, it sticks.”

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