Two Hundred and Forty One Parts
I bought a new cabinet for my work area. I assumed it was assembled; it was not! No problem. I opened the carton and removed the packet of fastener and parts. There were two hundred and forty one (241) pieces. I began with the 16 fasteners for the shelves. I then proceeded to the 8 clips which secured the back…HAVE YOU HAD ENOUGH? Don't you really want to know if I assembled it and filled it with tools and equipment…?
I hear presentations like this, and so do you. On some occasions with some people you will need to go into great detail. Most of the time you do not. So here's the challenge. You should have the details ready and retrievable, but you should deliver them only if someone asks for them! A warning signal will be if someone asks questions such as, "Where's this going?" Or "What's the bottom line?"
The solution…plan your presentations carefully. You should have a good opening (grabber) and a good closing. For each of your key ideas, have a "lead" of about 30 seconds to a minute. Then add details in the descending order of their importance. If time is short and patiences are wearing thin, deliver in brief form. If the audience wants more detail, then deliver it.
Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address was very brief - a few minutes. The speaker before Lincoln, Edward Everett, spoke for several hours. Everett complimented Lincoln on doing a better job. An interesting fact…there are photos of Lincoln walking away from the podium, but none DURING the speech. When they got the camera ready, he was gone. Not a bad model to follow!! Tell us about the finished cabinet and its value - NOT the two hundred and forty one parts!