Yesterday, I shared with you one lesson related to slide design I put into practice in revising my slides for this week’s GoTo Training on delivery for the online environment. A second lesson to draw from my GoTo Training/REAL Delivery adaptation is the importance of cutting content and slides to fit a new purpose. In class, we discuss delivery for 6 hours, but our GoTo Training is only scheduled for an hour. That means I had to cut at least 60-70 slides from this 110-slide deck. Needless to say, this was a challenge. What is important? What isn’t? What do I think is important, and what does my audience need to know? Nancy Duarte discusses this concept in Resonate:
Although you may feel that all the ideas you generated are insightfully riveting and took a ton of time to generate, they need to be sorted and organized–and some ideas need to be killed off.
The purpose of this violent act is to keep the focus on the audience. Without the editing and shaving off of what may seem necessary to you but is not necessary to your audience’s understanding of that particular subject, you will lose your most important tool in creating an idea that spreads–the audience themselves. As Duarte explains, we must murder our darlings because “striking a balance between withholding and communicating information is what separates the great presenters from the rest” (Source).
So, while it may be difficult and gut wrenching, a lesson I am sharing with all my students this week as they prepare to rehearse the delivery portion of their Ignite presentations is “murder your darlings.” Take the time to really hone in on the core of your message and nix anything that doesn’t communicate that core.