#59 Use the jazz strategy to become a platform master.
As the great jazz musician, Charles Mingus said, “Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple—that’s creativity.”
Most business presentations and speeches that I see are complicated and could be made much simpler.
We started this line of thought in the last episode, where we talked about being a sticky speaker. One of Einstein’s wonderful quotes, is one of my favourite ones. Here’s what he said, “Everything Should Be Made as Simple as Possible, But Not Simpler.”
We’ve been talking about the ‘Five Constant Factors’ in Sun Tzu’s Art of War. Today, I want carry on the thought from the last episode – which was on simplicity… as it really is the hallmark of engagement, one of the eight constant factors of platform mastery.
If you have the ambition of being a platform master, you will need to conquer the art of simplicity. Being simple makes you stand out as a communicator. Your audience appreciates you.
I guess if there was one word that would best define simplicity as a speaker it would be the word ‘Minimise’. That’s what Einstein was meaning when he said, “Everything Should Be Made as Simple as Possible, But Not Simpler.” Minimise!
Speakers who minimise are accomplished at taking ‘many things’ and turning them into a ‘few things and ultimately making it ‘one thing’. They have developed the skill of navigating through complex to simple, using the skill of minimising.
An audience will only remember a ‘few things’ from your speech or presentation after 24 hours. So, make sure those few things… stand out. Remember, every time you stand in front of an audience, it’s about them. If they do not ‘get it’ – then you have ‘lost it.’
Simplicity is hard work and it takes time to create simplicity. That’s why it is so valuable.
When you are delivering with simplicity you are engaging. You must understand the material thoroughly; you must understand how it relates to your audience; you must understand what is most important and why. And then you must design the message, with or without visual support, so that it hangs together and conveys the message with impact… with simplicity.
Here’s the action point of the day.
As you prepare your next message, ask yourself these three questions. (1) Why should this audience care about my message? (2) How can I make this message simple? (3) How can I make it worth their time?
There is more to come.