Anyone who has ever made a presentation knows how frustrating it can be to have to come up with suitable material. Speakers are tempted to throw in every possible bit of material they can find.
Also, when people have to make another presentation, they often rely on the same material, thinking they have gotten it down cold and will do even better with it next time.
In his book “The Presentation Lab,” Simon Morton emphasizes the idea of the presentation razor: defining and decluttering the material to make a memorable presentation that includes everything that is necessary but only what is necessary.
To that end, he recommends the following stages.
Stage 1: Messaging. Establish or re-engage the message to have the best chance of keeping the best content and ditching the excess. Think of the new audience.
Stage 2: Story. Taking time to review and tweak the story accordingly will give a speaker the confidence to deliver a more succinct presentation. Think of how the story will resonate with different audience profiles.
Stage 3: Filtering. Identify which elements of the content will assist the audience in understanding and moving through each part of the story.
Stage 4: Jargon busting. People no longer find business jargon a sign of expertise or greater intelligence; they find it tiresome.
Stage 5: Declutter. Look to remove not only superfluous subject matter but also superfluous words.
Stage continuous improvement by keeping content relevant, structured, and, as simple as possible.