Dumbing it down? No! Lifting them up!

Yes, you.

I hear you presenting yourself, or your product or service using all your industry speak, your smarty-pants lingo, your endless acronyms and jargon words. Be honest, you think that using 7 syllable words and inside business speak will let us know you’re a thought leader in your industry, an expert, a force to be reckoned with, right? WRONG. Using that kind of language either bores us to death because we can’t understand it (cue the nap or the iphone surfing) or – more dangerously – makes us feel stupid because we can’t understand it which makes us NOT LIKE YOU. And who wants to present to a sleeping or hostile audience? How in the world can we convince them to do or think anything if they can’t understand what we’re talking about?

That is why we must frame our message in language an 8 or 88 year old can understand. We must take a giant step back from our industry, take off our expert white coat and pretend we’re explaining the benefits of our stuff to our child or our parent – or grandparent.  In fact, running your presentation by any of these people in your life is a great idea.  If they get it, and even better – are enthusiastic about it – you’ve nailed it! If they’re bored or confused or impatient or angry, back to the drawing board you go.

If you’re in an industry that’s technical or complicated, think up an analogy to describe your product or service. Analogies begin with the words, “It’s like…” . In more than a decade helping presenters explain what they do I have yet to be stumped by something too advanced to be able to be likened to something we all know and understand.  Analogies take time, but they’re worth every minute. Remember, your goal is for your audience to easily understand your message so that they can then connect to it and then be convinced of it.

The other added benefit of speaking about something technical or complicated in language that makes it easy for your audience to ‘get’? They not only connect to what you’re saying, they feel like a super-smarty pants for understanding it!  Who doesn’t love ‘getting it’? How good do you feel when you completely understand something you always believed was too technical or too complicated? How much do you adore the person who explained it to you in simple easy to understand language? Exactly.

Make your next presentation one that is effortless for your audience to understand.  Not only will they be much more likely to be convinced, you’ll have made a fan for life.  Oh, and you’ll be heard.

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