Tag Archives: Reduce

GoTo Training Lesson: Murder Your Darlings

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.


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Slide slam: the 10-minute tweak challenge

In today’s Professional Communication and Presentation class, we discussed some visual design basics. We focused a bit of time on why we create bullet-driven visuals that make use of overused, cliche templates. The discussion today included discussing alternatives to the “slideument” approach as well as whether or not the visually-driven approach can work in more “heady” subjects like math. My answer is always a resounding yes. A visual aid is only one portion of a presentation, only one way to engage, convey, connect, and educate. If a visual aid is really a teleprompter, then it becomes a superfluous, unnecessary element at best and a detraction at worst.  To close out our discussion, Alex challenged us to take a slide similar to the one below and display the information contained in a visual way.

She gave the class 10 minutes. I went right to work using Duarte’s Reduce, Record, Repeat method. I honed in on the main idea of each slide, and paired each one with a strong image. So is born the slide slam.

Try a slide slam 10-minute tweak challenge with your visual aid. While a strong deck takes much longer than 10 minutes, this exercise can help reinforce the importance of making vision king!

Call for decks: Don’t believe this can work for your business/discipline? Send your slides my way for a quick slide slam!

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