Less is more

Nina Dušić Hren Public speaking

At one of the conferences that I attended most recently, I listened to a speech which included at least 20 important starting points. The speaker gave his advice every minute. From how important it is to set goals, how to motivate ourselves, maintain discipline, to how to be honest with yourself, account for our mistakes … I could go on and on. He told us everything he deemed significant. He wasn’t the only example either.

When preparing our speech, we tend to prepare too much. We want people to acknowledge our effort, experience and we want to show them that we know a lot. It is here that we can get trapped if we’re not careful. If we decide to share all of our ideas and messages, listeners won’t take any of those with them. How so? Simple. There are also other speakers at a conference, speaking before and after you. All of them have their own message (or more main messages). Think about it and ask yourself – are listeners able to remember everything? Is it better to overwhelm them with information, or present fewer key points but present those in an intriguing fashion in order for people to remember them?

People tend to memorise content that comes with solid supporting evidence. Whatever is said on stage the audience usually hears for the first time and it therefore suits them if someone repeats their idea several times. Every thought of yours requires time. Repeat it multiple times in various ways. Use stories, examples and statistics. Decide which part presents the main “takeaway” and construct your speech around it with supporting evidence. Less is more.

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