Why do we always overcomplicate things? Especially comes to presentations, big words and dazzling animations are more likely to confuse and distract your audience than gain their confidence. Follow the K.I.S.S. rule – keep it simple, stupid. As Leonardo da Vinci said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Leave the esoteric, sophisticated language to academics and keep your audience engaged. In business, it’s a thousand times better to be simple and understood than complex and confusing. That’s why top businesspeople – Warren Buffett, Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates, among others – have a knack for taking complex issues and explaining them in a way that a fifth grader would understand. An audience’s attention span is notoriously short, so don’t make them try to figure out what you’re saying. Simplify and make sure you’re understood.
Simplicity is the objective, but don’t just dumb it down. The difference between dumbing it down and distilling complexity into simplicity is night and day. You get to simplicity through complexity. Once you have your arms wrapped around the issues, simplify. Less is more. Focus on the core ideas. Use graphics instead of text, and avoid slideshow animations. Tell stories, employ use cases, and use everyday language.