Friday, March 13, 2009

Big Mistake Presenters Make: TMI

TMI (or “too much information”) is everywhere and is a major reason presentations fail.

A lot of presenters shoot out their information like paint balls in a massive onslaught of battle. The audience reacts by ducking for cover. Don’t bombard your audience, you want to engage them. Your listeners are people, too. And, just like you, they have a lot on their minds.

Your first priority is the relationship you establish with your audience. But you don’t establish trust by repeating some list of your accomplishments; that makes you seem arrogant. Don’t even tell them how great your company is. Tell them stories about yourself, your company, and your products, that make your points for you.

There is abundant research supporting how people actually learn best through stories (except in the scholarly research they're called "narratives.")

But, your story needs to connect you to your audience, through your message. The story has to be relevant, make sense to your audience, and build your credibility. By weaving your message into a compelling narrative, you really get your audience on your side.

You want a story that resonates with your audience, and gets across the benefits of your message. And you know what? It’s a lot more fun to tell engaging stories that simply spouting off a bunch of facts. Easier to remember, too.