Obedient tourists keeping to the straight and narrow path (Capilano Suspension Bridge at Vancouver)
We’ve all been through this before. There is simply an abundance of juicy bits of knowledge and information that you want to share, but your airtime is limited.
The same applies equally in any endeavour. Be it in presenting a proposal, updating a blog post, pushing an ad, making a speech, sharing an anecdote, or cracking a joke. In an age of increasing attention deficit, flooding is the last thing you want to do.
One of the lessons I’ve learnt repeatedly is to stay focused and to stick to the script as closely as possible when presenting a case. Sure, there are lots of fascinating back stories that you can share, or tantalising morsels of trivia, but your airtime is restricted.
If you’re making an argument, ensure that whatever facts you’re presenting helps to solidify rather than dissolve that point. Keep your narrative on the narrow path and try to be consistent – where humanly possible – in what you’re saying. Be ruthless in pruning out whatever shouldn’t be there.
While brevity is an advantage in most instances, there may be times where you need to expound further on a specific argument. This is where you need to consider the context of your audiences. If they’re in the same circle as you are, elaborating too much on the same story will seem old and tired. If, however, they’re not clued in, giving that little extra may help your case.
Remember. The audience may be listening now, but they won’t continue to do so if you stray too far from the course.