Now I'm not suggesting that you strip it down to the point that you leave out meaningful or relevant information. But most presentations include way too much detail. Most presenters, in preparing their presentation, neglect to ask the question, "What does my audience need to know?"
Although it sounds counter-intuitive, it's less work for a presenter to just include everything he knows about a topic rather than assessing what the audience may already know and then what would be most valuable for them. It's also frequently difficult for us to edit our own material.
The benefits of presenting less, rather than more, are several:
- a smaller quantity of data is easier to organize and easier to present in a clear, logical flow
- less information leaves more time for questions and dialogue, providing a richer experience for the audience
- if the audience isn't suffering from information overload, they'll be better able to focus on the salient points you're making, rather than becoming bored, confused or scrambling madly to take notes
- depending on the circumstances of the presentation, it may not be a bad idea to simply whet the audience's appetite for your topic and leave them wanting more information [e.g., when you're previewing the products and services you offer or introducing a new concept]
For another perspective, take a look at this video where Guy Kawasaki, in his charmingly blunt style, gives us the 10-20-30 rule for simplifying presentations:
Flickr/Andreas H. Lunde CC 2.0