Lists. 86 the lists. No one remembers all the items from a list. If I could make one New Year’s resolution for all my clients for 2013, it would be No More Lists!
Allow me to play armchair psychologist for a second … You’re dreading the preparation for your next presentation, aren’t you? Perhaps you’re feeling a bit insecure or defensive, like you need to demonstrate to your audience how knowledgeable or smart you are? Maybe time is running short, you’re in a rush to prepare your presentation, and you need some filler that a list or two would provide? Or, you’re feeling the urge that if only you could tell your audience absolutely everything you know about your topic, they would be more easily persuaded? Any of these sound familiar?
If you find yourself preparing to use lists, consider it a red flag of warning … you may be entering a zone of TMI (too much information!). Check yourself. If it’s absolutely necessary, use a list. If not, then ditch it, or prioritize so that you share only the most important items. Or, even better, think about the importance of your list and speak more fully to its significance, but not to the list itself!
And 2013 will be a happier year for you and your audiences!
SmartMouth Founder and Principal Beth Noymer Levine is a Communications Coach who is emerging as one of the country’s leading voices on how to prepare and deliver speeches and presentations that actually work for both the audience and the speaker.
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