The Verbosity Atrocity, Part 2

Sometimes verbose speech includes providing too many details.  Many technical professionals I work with have this problem. When you are sharing details, whether related to technical work or not, you must consider your listener.  It doesn’t matter if you are delivering a presentation to a group or sharing information one-to-one, know your audience.

I received a phone call today from an engineering manager about her employee (an electrical engineer) who consistently provides more details than his audience requires.  He enjoys the details and wants to ensure that the audience knows his command of the information. He is focusing on his need for admiration and to appear knowledgeable.  Instead, his focus should be on his audience.

To help you prepare for presentations, I use a diagram I call the Question Quadrant.  I use this to help my clients think about what they need to say and how much information to provide based on the audience.  Remember, this quadrant can be used for one-to-one communication as well as for a large audience.

WHO is my audience? What do THEY want from my presentation?

What do I want them to take away? What are my expected outcomes?

Look for my next blog post about how to use the Question Quadrant.