It is all in the message, or I should say in the interpretation.
Anyone who has been in a meeting with me knows that if there is a whiteboard…I am at it. Why? Because a picture gets everyone on the same page—whether it’s the right page or the wrong page, it should at least be the same page.
However, advice we all should take is that the picture has to be clear, concise, and not open to (mis)interpretation when you are not there to explain it!
I have seen slides, and even entire presentations, that totally miss the point. Months later the customer returns and says, “This is what you said, AND I have your slide…it means this.” Certainly, this is not a comfortable spot to be in when the customer’s interpretation and your intent are mismatched.
Simple rules that are usually skipped because of time and the rush to get the presentation finished:
- Do a dry run.
- Send the final draft deck to someone who did NOT create or collaborate on it with you beforehand.
- Do not combine decks and remove slides unless you take the time to re-create the flow and the message.
- Create slides that are not open to misinterpretation.
If you think these are common items to follow, think again. Simply look at some of the signs I have captured that, quite frankly, are open to interpretation. Enjoy:
So just when are they open?
How can you have business hours and also be open 7×24?
When you look at the next sign, I am sure it will remind some of you of the Brady Bunch episode from the 1970’s where a shop charged for each letter on a Silver Platter? I am convinced this sign painter was paid by the letter. What about a simple “In case of fire or emergency, call 911”…?
If you think “What’s in a name? Or in the title of a slide?”… well, the answer is everything.
And being clear and unambiguous….priceless!
Madison SQUARE Garden is round…Ponder that one.