Presentation with complicated data

Given how badly people remember what you tell them in presentations can you really use a presentation when what you’re giving your audience is hugely complicated or complex? And worse, when you suffer from the “Curse of the Expert” it doesn’t feel complicated to you!

I’m often told by the people I work with that they can’t, just can’t! Some of them are right… they can’t… because they don’t want to admit that they can.

Presenting Complex vs Presenting Complicated

First off, let’s’ differentiate between complex and complicated. This video looks a bit at that, and gives a tip for dealing with complex content in presentations.

You can do “complicated” in your presentations…

But what you can’t do is just throw it at your audience… because you know your material, you’re not having to work as hard as your audience and that makes it dangerously easy to push more material at people than they can handle.

This video plays with that just a little bit.

Finally (breathing a sigh of relief?) here’s a quick and dirty video (seriously quick and dirty!) looking at an example of doing this better, using a famously hard to understand graphic – It’s Charle’s Joseph Minard’s early infographic about inviting Russian in 1812 (and how badly it went wrong!)

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