The Power of Less

Many years ago, when I was preparing to present my master thesis my advisor gave me valuable advice I’ll never forget.

Here is how that went:

Remove as much information as you can.

Me: Gantt charts are boring and useless but they are expected in the presentation.

Forget the Gantt chart and remove the technical details.

Me: They won't know how hard I worked. They won't understand the complexity of the project.

The jury knows you already... They were all your teachers in the past.

They know you are hard working and they expect you to give a very confusing presentation.

They expect you to try to cram as much information as possible during the 20 min and to speak very fast.

Surprise them by doing the exact opposite!

Keep some slides hidden at the end for questions that they might ask. Even have the damn Gantt chart if you like. If they ask you about it say: "I'm glad you asked" and jump to the slide and use the Q&A time to talk about this, instead of sacrificing the very limited presentation time with it.

Suffice it to say I followed the advice and the presentation was a hit. They LOVED how simple it was. They LOVED that the demo showed the power and potential of what I built instead of just hearing about it. They LOVED the surprise of expecting to be confused and bored to tears but instead getting a light presentation.

The lesson is: Keep it simple and high level. Favour less information over too much.

Forget the Gantt chart

P.S. no one asked me for the damn Gantt chart.