Snow day

Snow Day Stage

Powerful speeches evoke the simplicity of snowy days

by Peter Watts

Simplification creates clarity.

You see the proof on winter mornings: when you awake to snow covered everything, the world looks cleaner.

Details that we seldom notice, can suddenly leap out. Snow blots out the chaos of visual details that surround us every day. It imposes a stark simplicity that allows structural features to stand out.

Presentations benefit from the same treatment. We pack them with content, thinking it a virtue to give the audience everything but the kitchen sink. In the process however, the audience loses sight of our message amongst the clutter.

Simplicity is an absolute virtue.

Take a look at a winter tree with it’s limbs covered in snow. Through the power of contrast, the white snow makes the bark of the tree appear more sharply black. This in turn means that the structure of the tree leaps forward, especially on days like today when not only the snow is white, but the sky behind it as well. The more the clutter is pulled back, the more the structure stands out.

Imagine giving presentations that could stand out with the striking clarity of a winter tree. The problem is though, that clarity can be scary. Clutter is a comfort blanket and we worry that without it we’ll be alone in a big white canvass.

Clarity doesn’t need to mean stark. Ornamentation makes a presentation human, but just make sure your clear winter tree doesn’t morph back into the sentimental clutter of a Christmas Tree, because then you’re right back at square one again.

On those rare and beautiful days of snow, take time to notice how much clearer things can look when stripped to their essentials.

How can you bring that clarity to your next presentation?

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