Kicking Wordiness to the Curb

June 3, 2019

Presenters have around 3-5 seconds to capture an audience member's attention (CreativeCultivate). No pressure, right?

While a wordy presentation is only always the cause of disengaged audience members, it certainly does not help captivate viewers. Here are a few of Dog and Pony Show's favorite tips to eliminate wordiness and enhance engagement in your presentations:

 

1. Avoid Repetition

It is true that audience members need to hear a phrase a few times before it begins to resonate with them. However, rephrasing points continuously can cause viewers to tune out. When practicing your presentation, be aware of how many times you are revisiting a key point and see how you can most effectively communicate your thought without overselling it.

 

2. Skip the Announcements 

 In presentations, it can be tempting to start off with an announcement, such as "Today, I will be sharing about ____", or, "In this presentation, we will explore ______". These statements take up time and energy that could be spent actually getting to the point of your presentation. We say, ditch 'em.

 

3. Utilize Active Voice

 Active voice structures sentences around an action. For example, compare this active-voice sentence ("I analyzed the data.") to its passive-voice cousin ("The data has been analyzed"). Active voice typically utilizes less words to convey the same idea, making it an effective tool when crafting concise presentations.

 

Looking for more presentation tips and tricks? Check out the Dog and Pony Show blog post on our favorite insights from Jonah Sach's "The Story Wars"!

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