Going to MISS a LOT!
When watching a cable news story or interview you’ll invariably see a “ticker tape” of information streaming right to left on the bottom of your television. Read that information and you miss the story on the main screen. It is extremely annoying, isn’t it!
It’s important to note that distraction always goes away during commercials. Advertisers would have a fit if their message was diverted by anything.
WE cannot Multi-Task!
Your AUDIENCE cannot Multi-Task!
Do not make them try!
It is a myth we can do that activity. When trying we quickly switch between tasks. That constant switching leaves gaps and we miss “stuff.”
Think about the last time when driving and you were looking for an address. Many, because they intuitively know they can only concentrate on one thing at a time, will turn off their radio. That second task of listening could make you miss your destination, correct?
Knowing your audiences cannot focus on more than one thing at a time is important to developing and delivering your talk.
Use simple language they immediately understand. If words are unfamiliar, they’ll start searching the “database in their brain” for associations and meaning. As soon as this occurs, you’ve lost them for a period of time and missed part of your message.
If they continue to hear unfamiliar words, acronyms, and techno-speak, your message will be tuned out. Your audience won’t be impressed and might feel stupid. No one likes to feel stupid.
Do not use lots of text and bullet points. If you’re reading text or bullet points to attendees, they are also reading, only they are ahead of you because we read faster than we speak. Because they are trying to do two things at the same time, listening and reading, there is a disconnect. With that Multi-tasking attempt, your audience will always miss something.
Bullet Points do not reinforce a message. They:
• Confuse the audience.
• Conflict with the presenter.
• Complicate the message.
No one will be attending your presentation to read it.
It is better to have your slides contain high quality, universally understood Images rather than text. You provide the “text” with your voice. Because most of us are visual learners, great Images will help your audience GET IT!
Eliminate distractions from your slides.
Fancy corporate templates, logos, and contact information distract those looking at your slides. Consider using a solid white or black background. This will have eyes focusing only at images.
Periodically make the screen go dark.
Non-verbal communication trumps verbal communication. If your audience is always looking at the screen, they will miss much of your message. Inserting a black slide, hitting the “B” button on your keyboard, or using a remote control with the “Blank” function will take the eyes of your audience off the screen onto you.
Follow this advice for not making your audience Multi-Task and your presentations will be absolutely, positively –
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