There are lots of different types of presentation content and its important to treat it all well. Focus on the minimum effective dose. This post explains how.
Develop content in order to deliver the minimum effective dose
Now it is time to create the content for your presentation – if you are like most people, this will either mean copy/pasting from previous presentations or putting in everything you know about the topic and then cutting out as much as necessary to make it fit into the time slot you have been given. Try applying the lessons in this blog-spot instead!
First of all: Don’t grab everything and then cut out in order to be on time or be less boring – you have to think about BUILDING your presentation up instead of cutting down from your 100% knowledge of the topic. Concentrate on the minimum effective dose!
The minimum effective dose is a concept I first read about in the book “The 4 Hour Body” from Tim Ferriss. This book has nothing to do with presentation skills! It is written by Tim Ferriss, the author of “4 Hour Work Week” which has some really great principles on lifestyle design and being effective. Tim has a great blog site with lots of good information, links and references…
The basic principle of the minimum effective dose is this: The smallest dose that will produce a desired outcome.
In your presentations (and everything else) anything more than the minimum effective dose (of content) is waste. Adding more content willl:
- Not create understanding and even detract from your key message
- Create confusion by drowning people in details
- Use time unneccessarily
- Bore people
Note that there are 2 concepts at play here: “minimum” and “effective”. This means you must not have more than necessary and that what you choose to share must be (in itself) effective.
To avoid the problems noted above, ask yourself the 5 following questions in order to create the minimum effective dose of content:
- What must people understand in order to get the message?
- Which methods, media and ideas will be most effective in passing across the message?
- If I could only present 3 things to get my message across, what would they be?
- What have I included that is unnecessary?
- If I didn’t give all the details myself, what tools/references/resources could I point out so that the audience can continue without me?
The minimum effective dose can be applied to the speech you make, the slides you create, the way you talk to other people, exercises, content of training programmes etc etc…
I hope this helped. If you followed the 5 steps you should have a nice overview of how to build up effective presentations.
If you have questions, contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
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