I just conducted a 2-day presentation training this week, and I received a very valuable lesson from one participant who is also my fellow trainer. I was telling the participants that messages overloading is major reason for ineffective presentation. And it is common mistake because the presenter is often the subject matter expert (SME). Thus, it is just very natural for the kind and eager SME to deliver a lot of what he / she knows.
My learning is that …. I was committing the exact same mistake in the class. As I have been picking up more and more presentation skills in the last 1 year, I add all these into the delivery. I just could not help it since I found them all to be great addition to achieve an effective presentation. However, especially since this class is the beginner-level presentation class, my course content became too much to them. For example, telling someone who just becomes aware of something called presentation skills about the power of silence is not exactly useful. Not mentioning this is among some 30 different skills / tricks I mentioned!! Furthermore, since doing a better presentation is a behavioral change, it is very different to adopt a lot of tricks / skills at one time.
I got to reduce the number of messages in a given training intervention. Looking at it retrospectively, I should at most have 3-4 major learnings a day – make them aware of one and then practice like hell, before moving on to the next one!!