Saturday, July 4, 2009

Lewis Black and clutter

Saw Lewis Black last night, reminding me of this great bit at the 2007 Emmys.

Clutter, whether on a TV screen or a Powerpoint slide, is an enemy of good communication. More stuff only gets in the way. And it gets in the way of the very reason you’re (hopefully) using Powerpoint in the first place: to communicate an idea or two.

So what can we learn from TV-screen clutter and Lewis Black’s rant?
  • More visual stuff competes with each other and (more importantly) with you speaking.
  • Your slides should complement what you’re saying, not compete with it.
  • People tune out (at least part of their brain) when they encounter all that clutter. Why make your job harder?
  • Don’t read bullet points (or is it: don’t use bullet points?).
  • Network executives have short attention spans.

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