More often then not we have the tendency to complicate rather then simplify. We assume that sophistication equals results, brilliance, performance, and intelligence but it doesn’t. More information, more choices, and more products is not better. In fact it is the exact opposite more is actually less and can cause your audience to disengage. “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
In the book Paradox of Choice, Schwatz did a study that showed when presented with many choices consumers would often times become paralyzed. “Many of us labor under the impression that providing customers with a wide selection of products of a certain type increases customer satisfaction. After all, we think, if we provide them with 200 brands of peanut butter, they are more likely to find a brand that suits their taste. Schwatz cites surveys done in supermarkets that showed the reverse. When customers were presented with a huge selection of brands of a certain item, fewer customers bought the item than when fewer brands were displayed. The wide selection led to a paralysis of choice – the customers could not decide which brand to choose. As a result, they went away without choosing any.
Take this study and move it over to presentations, business plans, and teaching. Too much information can cause confusion and misunderstanding. The audience might forget or miss your point entirely because you have over complicated everything. Here is a simple solution:
Start with the main idea first and build everything around it.
Take a look at this article. The main thing I wanted the audience to get is: We tend to complicate rather than simplify. I want the audience to simplify their presentations, business plans, websites, mission statements, and scripts thus increasing their results. Everything else I write will either build on that point or prove why that point is true.
Here is an email I received the other day from an old friend she said:
This picture was found in a camera during cleanup.
This is a fantastic photo!! Amazing that the film was still good – or memory stick.
Either one, this really tells the story. Look at how high that wall of water is!! ½ a second before tsunami
This picture was taken on the banks of Sumatra Island (the height of waves was of approx. 32 m = 105 ft).
It was found saved in a digital camera, after the disaster.
We cannot know for sure, but very likely the one who took the picture is not alive any more (it was just a matter of seconds).
Today we can see the last image he/she saw before ending life on Earth
When I first saw this picture I was stunned. That would be so crazy to see in real life. Then I looked at the picture closer and realized that it is fake. Come to find out this email has been traveling the globe for years and has been passed around to millions of people who have pass it on to their contacts. It has spread like social media fire.
The original photograph has a date stamp of “12.11.2002” (November 12, 2002). The prankster who launched this hoax apparently removed the date stamp because it would have immediately destroyed the illusion that the photograph was taken during the 2004 tsunami.
That is funny! How is it that something so ludicrous and fake can spread like wildfire yet something that is true and interesting can not seem to make it past the firewalls of your closest friends and family. Although this story is made up there is something about it that people want to spread. Some of you reading this blog might be tempted to copy this picture and post it all over Facebook. Try it and see the responses that pile in. Why stop a good urban legend when there are so many people out there that just want to believe? All joking aside, some ideas are inherently interesting and some are just flat out boring yet it doesn’t need to be that way. It is all in the way we present it. The words to the email above are not what sales. It is the picture! Its the emotions that trigger inside when one looks at this picture. A huge wave that is about to wipe out a city, very interesting. This story will stick and spread. It is our job to show you how your story, your presentation, your ideas can stick and spread. Making impressions with explainer videos is what we do! Your good ideas needs to be presented in a way that will make people spread it.