How to give a killer presentation? Make it simple

If you want to give a killer presentation, then make your presentation simple.  

That’s because it’s too easy to get tied up in the detail. If you can’t see the wood for the trees, how will your audience?

Your job as a presenter is to make it easy for the audience. 

That means, keep working at your talk, your presentation  – so that your single big idea is clear, simple and concise.

A killer presentation has one big idea

Only when you can write the big idea of your talk in one sentence are you ready to start preparing the rest of it.

The good news is people remember very little about any talk – typically they recall 3-4 ideas, not more.  Therefore, don’t try and introduce too many concepts – make it simple and make it clear.

When we train people at Benjamin Ball Associates for effective presentations, we often use the So What test and the 30 second summary test to create killer presentations.

The 30 second summary test

You will know you have it right when you can summarise your talk in 30 seconds; or you can be confident that you know how someone in your audience will report your talk to someone else.

I want to learn more

How do you make complex things simple in presentations?

Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.”
Charles Mingus

The best communication tends to be simple.

Whether it’s memorable phrases from history or literature:

“Jesus Wept”,
“I came, I saw, I conquered”

great adverting slogans:

Just Do It
Coke Is It

or important ideas expressed clearly:

e=mc2
“The higher you climb, the harder you fall”

On the other hand, our businesses, our strategies, our communications, all tend to be complex.This leads to complicated presentations and confused communications.

Complexity does not need to be complicated

Whether you work for a fund, a businesses or in services, your job as a communicator is turn complex ideas into simple communications. That is the art of great communication. For example, during an IPO last year, we translated the eight key investment points the banks wanted into three clear memorable lines:

  • Great Market
  • Great Product
  • Great Business.

This worked so well with investors that the company is still using these lines 2 years later.

The best communicators make things simple

Richard Feynman was not only one of the smartest Nobel-winning physicists ever, but he was also a brilliant communicator. He loved teaching undergraduates and his undergraduate lectures were packed because they were so popular.  Listen to him explain various scientific concepts.

He really sets the standard for what great communication should sound like.

How to turn the complex into simple communication

When you have a complex idea to communicate, try exploring different ways to make it easy to understand.

Some ways to do this  include:

  1. say less
  2. adopt metaphors
  3. tell stories
  4. incorporate analogies
  5. strip out irrelevant detail.

In some situations we have found people so hung up on explaining HOW they do something that they forget to be clear on WHAT they do. Being outsiders, we are in the privileged position of being able to ask simple questions (e.g.

So how do you make money? 
What makes you special?  
So What?

If you would like help making the complex less complicated, please get in touch.

Start your journey to world-class public speaking skills now

First, download our free ebook to start your journey towards becoming a Powerful Presenter. You’ll learn our 5-step process for transforming dull, forgettable and un-engaging presentations into your most Powerful Presentations yet: inspirational, memorable and persuasive.

It’s full of practical tips and insightful quotes that will help you make immediate improvements to your leadership talks and presentations, including:

  • Increased confidence
  • Persuade your audience.
  • Engagement with your audience.

Download your free copy of our Five Steps to Transform your Leadership Talks ebook now.

improve your leadership talks

I want to be a powerful communicator

About Benjamin Ball Associates

Benjamin Ball Associates Team

At Benjamin Ball Associates, we help clients to communicate better.

Over 12+ years the award-winning BBA team has coached thousands of senior executives globally to present themselves powerfully. You get access to a transformational toolbox of techniques to help you become a clear, confident communicator.

We’ll help you create a powerful first impression that hooks and engages your audience immediately and we’ll transform you to deliver clearly, confidently and with impact.

Speak to Louise on +44 20 7018 0922 or email louise@benjaminball.com to find out more and discuss your upcoming speech or presentation.

Contact us to transform your public speaking skills

Contact us for a chat about how we can help you with your presenting.

Let's talk about your presentation training needs

Contact us for a chat about how we can help you with your presenting.

+44 20 7018 0922

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