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LESS is MORE for . . .

Presentations and Elevator Speeches.

The Goal of All Communication; Visual, Written, or Spoken, is the same.

We want the recipients, as quickly as possible, to GET IT! They may not agree with everything. They may not agree with anything. Unless they GET IT!, there cannot be a meaningful discussion going forward.

Your audience wants to GET IT! –  quickly! They have an abundance of information constantly coming to them and don’t want to take a lot of time to “figure out the meaning” of everything. For many, instant coffee takes too long!

An exercise for helping your audience GET IT! promptly is to LESSEN things in your presentation. Think: Cliffs Notes, Executive Summaries, and Reader’s Digest.

Areas to make LESS:

Your Introduction

Always write your own Introduction. It is not your bio, your responsibility to write, and an integral part of your presentation.

Your Introduction should answer three questions: 1. WHY this subject? 2. WHY this speaker? 3. WHY now?

Your audience is investing time, sometimes money, and opportunity cost (they could be doing something else) to watch and listen to you. Your Introduction should give “Cred” for you being the person to present this topic.

Write your Introduction as succinctly as possible. Think of it as the two or four sentence description under the title of a book or movie that gives just enough facts that you want to know more. Too often, what the emcee reads goes on and on to the point where the audience is telling themselves, “Let’s hear the speaker, already!” Long Introductions are the equivalent of too many commercials and previews of coming attractions before the featured attraction at a theatre.

The above suggestions also apply to promotional material you produce and distribute.

Your Presentation

Use simple language and simple words, deleting complex explanations and terms.

Buzz words, acronyms, and techno-speak have no place in a presentation. Your audience will not be impressed by hearing things they don’t understand. They will feel stupid and tune you out.

If you can say it with less words – do it! 

Eliminate “filler words and phrases.” They distract the audience from your message and include: ah, err, you know, like, so, and others.

Respect the time you were given to speak and never go over it. Closing a bit before you were scheduled is a good thing!

Your Props

As soon as your audience sees a prop, including a slide, they should GET IT!

Consider the Ink Blot, or Rorschach Test, where interpretation of a visual is up to the person viewing it, with many “seeing” different images.

With slides, use high quality, universally understood images.

Eliminate clutter from your slide presentation.

  1. Transitions and builds should be clean and not distracting.

  2. Fonts should be simple and easy to read.

  3. Don’t use fancy templates with corporate logos and contact information.

  4. My favorite templates, with no distractions, are.

  5. All white.

  6. All black.

  7. Limit the number of images.

  8. Occasionally, use a ‘blank’ slide or press the “B” button on your remote control.

  9. The eyes of your audience will shift from the screen to you, where they should be.

  10. This same idea for taking the image away should apply to physical props. When their need is over, put them away or they become a distraction.

Your Personal Appearance

You are the presenter, not the presentation.

  1. For Guys: Madras sport coat, colorful socks, and bright orange tennis shoes – Fuhgeddaboudit!

  2. Think: Steve Jobs.

  3. For Gals: Bright bling, patterned scarve, and multi-colored eyeglass frames – Fuhgeddaboudit!

  4. Think: Angela Merkel.

  5. Plain – Simple – NO Distractions!

Implement the LESS is MORE guidelines into your Presentations and Elevator Speeches and your next ones will be – NO SWEAT!


About the Author Fred E. Miller is a speaker, an international coach, and the author of the books, “NO SWEAT Public Speaking!” and “NO SWEAT Elevator Speech!”

Businesses, Individuals, and Organizations hire him because they want to improve their Networking, Public Speaking, and Presentation Skills.

They do this because they know: Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities.

They also know: We perceive really great speakers to be Experts, and we like to work with Experts.

He shows them how to: Develop, Practice, and Deliver ‘Knock Your Socks Off Presentations!’ with – NO SWEAT!


  1. Keynote Speaker

  2. Workshop Facilitator

  3. Breakout Sessions

  4. Personal and Group Public Speaking and Presentation Coaching


  1. Lessening The Fear of Public Speaking with – NO SWEAT!

  2. Crafting Your Elevator Speech, Floor by Floor with – NO SWEAT!

  3. Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities.

  4. We are All Self-Employed!

314-517-8772 Connect/Follow me: FaceBook LinkedIn Twitter YouTube Pinterest Google+


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