Ready? Here you go:

Don’t. Read. Your. Dumb. Slides.

Long version:

I’m at a pitchfest of an event, and people have come up one after another doing this basic performance over and over again:

“Hello, my name is _____. I’m the CEO and founder of ShinyNewSite.tv. At ShinyNewSite.tv, we believe in maximizing your efficiency through enhancing your brand and building your… Our mission is…”

What? Hello? Where am I? Oh wait. I think I read a slide that was essentially 300 words on your mission statement, using something like all 300 to try and tell me what you and your marketing team made up.

Communication is about CONNECTION

If you learn NOTHING else from me about communication, presentation, or whatever in hacking your own life, building your own value to the world, please learn this: connect. Connect with the people you’re trying to communicate with. Build something between us, no matter how short your time is.

How?

  • Think about who I am. And then build your presentation (conversation, blog, whatever) with me in mind.
  • Acknowledge that you want MY attention. Try hard to keep it by cutting out the fat.
  • Wake me up by saying something in a different way, or say it in a way that sounds like I wrote your slide for you (meaning we’re on the same wavelength).
  • Don’t skip the foreplay, but don’t bore me.

Am I Being Too Demanding?

Hell no. ATTENTION is my most scarce resource. If I’m going to be sharing space, or reading, or learning, or taking some time out of my life to pay attention to your presentation (email, blog post, podcast), you owe me. You owe me your best attempt at saying something that connects with me.

Smallest presentation hack ever?

Dont. Read. Your. Dumb. Slides.

Chris Brogan isn’t always this cranky. He keeps a blog at [chrisbrogan.com]

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