Recently, I've been reading a lot of books about how to be an effective presenter, as well as business psychology, graphic design, and overall how to become a more effective leader. I've noticed that a lot of the information works really well with what this site is all about, so I wanted to share some of it with you.
The Fish Story
When Vijay opened his store, he put up a sign that said “We Sell Fish Here”. His father stopped by and said that the word “We” suggests an emphasis on the seller rather than the customer, and is really not needed. So the sign was changed to “Fresh Fish Sold Here”.
His brother came by and suggested that the word “here” could be done away with – it was superfluous. Vijay agreed, and changed the sign to “Fresh Fish Sold.”
Next, his sister came along and said the sign should just say “Fresh Fish.” Clearly, it was being sold; what else could you be doing?
Later, his neighbor stopped by to congratulate him. Then he mentioned that all passing customers could easily tell that the fish was really fresh. Mentioning the word fresh actually made it sound defensive as though there was room for doubt about the freshness. Now the sign just read “FISH.”
As Vijay was walking back to his shop after a break he noticed that one could identify the fish from its smell from very far, at a distance from which one could barely read the sign. He knew there was no need for the word “FISH.”
Being an effective presenter means mastering three things: Simplicity, Naturalness, and Elegance.
Simplicity: Simplicity means the achievement of maximum effect with minimum means. When you examine your visuals, then, can you say that you are getting the maximum impact with a minimum of graphic elements? Visual elegance is achieved by elimination and omission.
Naturalness: Naturalness prohibits the use of elaborate designs and over refinement. Restraint is a beautiful thing. Good designers show restraint by including only what is necessary to communicate the particular message for the particular audience.
Elegance: You do not always need to visually spell everything out. You do not need to pound every detail into the head of each viewer either visually or verbally. Instead, the combination of your words, along with the visual images you project, should motivate the viewer and arouse his imagination, helping him to empathize with your idea and visualize your idea far beyond what is visible in the design before him.
I hope you find this information helpful