Lean Communications

“Do only what is necessary to convey what is essential. [C]arefully eliminate elements that distract from the essential whole, elements that obstruct and obscure….Clutter, bulk, and erudition confuse perception and stifle comprehension, whereas simplicity allows clear and direct attention.” – Richard Powell


This quotation appeared in Presentation Zen a while ago (I heartily recommend Garr Reynolds’ book, BTW). We talk more about simplicity these days. Simplicity – “the ultimate sophistication” (Leonardo da Vinci). Based on that concept, efficiency is more about removing from than adding to the message.

One explanation – it was said that the amount of information doubled every 5 years. Now it’s 2 or so. We are literally swamped by all sorts of communication. Paraphrasing Seth Godin’s book, “less is the new more”.

In art this was true for ages.

In the process of creating a presentation, an important step is to spend the time to remove points and slides which do not add [enough] value. Or disrupt the message. The same goes for all you find on a slide (that’s why logos, logotypes in the header/footer aren’t advised, btw). A similar thing is done by authors – when preparing a piece of work, they often spend a lot of time removing unnecessary words, e.g. adverbs, adjectives. Or even entire sections.

Things that interrupt flow.

This reminded me of an earlier entry on progressblog.com. And a quotation by Michael Porter:

“The essence of strategy is choose what not to do.”