We have all been in meetings that went on and on about the exact wording of a phrase: legal contracts, mission statements, press releases, UN Security Council resolutions, and yes, also presentations. I am not arguing to be less precise when writing a presentation, but word smithing bullet points is not going to make your message clearer, the opposite is probably true.
  • Everyone knows that bullet point slides make bad presentations. And the more text you cut, the less ability you have to get that exact nuance right.
  • The details of text in a presentation do not register, what matters is the - partly improvised - story told by the presenter; and a good story does not include repeating memorized, carefully crafted sentences.
  • Hollow mission statements (earlier post) are the ultimate example of the information asymmetry between the presenter and her audience. It took months to develop, it contains everything the company stands for, people have thought about every word and punctuation mark in it, and still: nobody understands it.
Photo by Flickr/gruban.