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When Less is More…

It’s really easy to add lots of information in your maps, but sometimes that hurts the quality of your presentation. The first couple of steps to making a great presentation map were to “Keep it Simple” and “Limit Bullet Points & Text”. These points emphasized that less text lets the audience focus more on you, the presenter.

Why less text is really more

Too many words hurt your map presentations. Why? Take a look at the results of a study published in the Journal of Educational Psychology which I discovered on Making Change, an instructional design blog.

The study ran a series of 3 experiments comparing the use of visual summaries vs. detailed texts with and without visuals. The participants that viewed the visual summaries solved transfer problems as well as or better than other participants who received the full text along with the summary or the full text alone. Read the original publication (PDF) from the Journal of Educational Psychology.

Steve Rothwell and Jim Finney pointed out in their comments (in steps to making a great presentation map) that your map should support your presentation. You can always provide more detailed information with your participants after your speech.

Write shorter emails

A reader commented on the Making Change blog that this lesson applies to other areas in your life, like writing emails. Short emails get read!

Where else can you accomplish more with less?

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About the Author: Michael Deutch is Mindjet’s Chief Evangelist, content contributor for the Mindjet Blog and the Mindjet Connections newsletter. Get more from Michael on Twitter.

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