How can we make our presentation more crisp and condensed?
Transcription (edited) by: Bhaktin Raji Nachiappan
Question: How can we make our presentation more crisp and condensed?
- First of all, we need to have clarity in our thoughts. Next is, we find right words for communicating our thoughts. Writing helps in both organizing our thoughts and finding the right words for communicating them.
- Second is that while presenting we make sure that the other person in understanding what we are presenting. Asking if we are making ourselves clear or just pausing will help make the communication not only crispier but also clearer.
There are two main factors here. Firstly, there are thoughts in the mind, and to communicate the thoughts effectively we need to choose the right words. Second aspect is that the words have to be understood by the other person.
When there is some sort of slowness or imprecision in communication, we have to identify where the issue is. Is it that the thoughts are not clear? Or is it that we are unable to find the words for our thoughts? Or is it that we’re unsure whether the other person is understanding or not and therefore we are trying to repeat the things. This has to be evaluated.
For an interview or any other important occasion, we usually prepare our thoughts. In general we cannot prepare for all situations, but at least major situations in our life we should have our thoughts clear. If we have difficulty in putting the thoughts into the right words, then it is better to write them down. This is not for memorising it, for memorising may make things artificial. Just writing things down, especially the important points, will enable us to get the right words quickly later on.
Every day when I write the GitaDaily article, I make sure the article is no more than 310 words. I write the article in 10 minutes but to get the article in within the word limit sometimes takes about 30-40 minutes. This practice of writing has helped me in making my speech more precise, though sometimes I tend to become a bit long-winded. Writing things down is a sure way of making communication more precise.
Further, sometimes we feel unsure if the other person is or isn’t understanding. In that case, there are few things we can do. We can ourselves ask the other person. Don’t ask ‘Do you understand?’ because that makes the other person feel put down that they are not intelligent enough to understand. We put the onus on ourselves and ask ‘Am I making myself clear?’ So then it does not become the other person’s fault that they don’t understand, but it is our problem that we are not making ourselves clear. Then the person without being made to feel unintelligent will feel encouraged to ask us.
Another thing which we could do if we feel the other person is not understanding, is that instead of continue speaking on, we pause. If we pause, usually that pause will help us to collect our thoughts also. Using fillers like ‘uhh’ during the pause will make people think that we do not know what we are thinking. So just pause completely. Then they may say something at that time and from that we can understand the directions of their thoughts. While giving classes, when we have open class questions and people ask questions, from that we understand the audience’s thinking.
In summary, clarifying our thoughts, finding the right words for thoughts either by writing or mentally preparing, asking if we are making ourselves clear or just pausing will help make the communication not only crispier but also clearer.