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Good Presentations Need to Make People Uncomfortable

Photo: Colourbox

It’s no secret that our digital communication tools are overwhelming us. A Deloitte study found that U.S. workers (in aggregate) look at their phones almost 8 billion times a day, and research shows that U.S. productivity has waned since the introduction of the smartphone. But the world of business needs a way to bring people together to share information and explain ideas, and to get them to reach for the same goals. So what’s the happy medium we’re looking for?

I’m going to suggest a classic, underappreciated solution: presentations. They often get a bad rap because they’re often badly made. A good one takes many hours to build: It requires research and clarity of thinking, and great care must be given to word choice, image selection and flow. Yet when we do that important work, presentations can help us do something more effectively than almost any other communication tool at our disposal. They enable us to make a compelling, persuasive argument — without overwhelming people with disjointed messages or a fire hose of information...

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