ispeakeasyblog

Fewer Choices Lead To Better Results

In business, Education, Interviews, marketing, opinion, philosophy, Public Speaking, sales, speaking, Uncategorized on November 29, 2011 at 9:07 PM

Speaking Tip #70

When my children were young, I dreaded going to the store to buy children’s aspirin. I remember standing there at the wall of products completely overwhelmed and very clear that there were many options but not clear at all about the right choice. Aspirin, Tylenol, ibuprofen or store brand? Pills, capsules, chewable, or liquid? Infants, child, teen or adult? Cherry, berry, or grape? Coated or uncoated? With fever reducer or without? 10, 25 or 100? It was too much!

I always worried that no matter what I brought home, it would not be the right choice.

Speakers often overwhelm audiences in the same way. In an effort to fully educate, to tell the whole story, we give too much information and too many options. We give more than the audience wants, can remember, or can even keep straight in their head. Speakers often try to cram what has take years or even decades to learn into a 40 minute presentation.

Given too many choices or too much information, audiences become dazed. Rather than being moved to action, they are more likely moved to a state of paralysis. In a sales situation, this means no sale. In a management situation, this means no change in behavior. In a community forum, it means no change in belief

An effective speaker brings clarity into the minds of the audience by offering one clear message. An effective speaker supports that one message with 3-5 supporting points, and they are done. An effective speaker keeps it clean and simple.  An effective speaker is able to discern what needs to be stated and what needs to be left out. An effective speaker helps bring clarity to the audience.

Take the time to figure out your one message and find your three to five supporting subtopics, and leave everything else out.

The worst that can happen when you give less is your audience will want more information and ask you a question.

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  1. Thank you for sharing a lesson that cannot be repeated too many times Ethan. As you have reminded me from time to time, a clear message is essential and cheating is not a good idea. Adding “sub-points to your “sub-points” to satisfy that compelling need to “cram what has take years or even decades to learn into a 40 minute presentation” can be even more overwhelming to your audience than trying to include all of that information in your main points.

  2. Thank you Lauren. You are quite correct. Often speakers are trying to satisfy their own need to provide information over the audiences need to hear a clear message.

  3. This article provide many tips. Very useful to me. Thanks a lot

  4. I really like your writing style, good information, appreciate it for posting : D.

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  6. Thats generally especially good article. Thanks a lot for all your enthusiasm to provide these helpful tips here.

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