Shorter show and tells are better

The other week I was at a show and tell with—thankfully—not the usual suspects. The team and key stakeholders were present, but also some other curious people from around the organisation. There was a lot to cover in 30 minutes, so the team rattled through the material and there were a couple of brief questions before we finished. And as we were leaving the room one of the attendees said to me, “That was really good—and short, too. You packed a lot in.”

It brought home to me the value of squeezing down the time of a show and tell. It’s a bit like putting a deadline on a project – it forces everyone to prioritise ruthlessly. What must we absolutely do? What can we leave for another time?

A short, snappy show and tell has a number of advantages. It’s more engaging because there’s more energy in the presentation; it’s more likely to fit into people’s calendars; there is less scope for conversations that go down rabbit-holes; there’s more focus on content and less on form and polish, which helps a bit to reduce prep time; it shows you’re respectful of people’s time. If people want to dig deeper then there’s always opportunity for further conversations, in line with the showbiz mantra, “Always leave ’em wanting more.”



Comments are closed.