CHAMPION STRATEGIES – PUBLIC SPEAKING WORKSHOP – July 22, 2020
Classifying and Categorizing
Categorizing information is one way that people make sense of complex topics. A speaker can help people come to grips with complex topics by breaking them down into a few categories.
If participants have trouble thinking of things to consider in a health insurance plan, you can make a few suggestions:
Cost of prescriptions
Emergency room visits
Coverage when traveling
Routine doctor’s visits
Network restrictions (doctors)
Network restrictions (hospitals)
One key benefit of doing this is that you can take a highly complicated topic and break it down into smaller areas, which benefits members of your audience who may specialize in a certain area. The areas in which they do not specialize will not be a signal to turn off, but an opportunity to learn more about that specific area, allowing a “joined-up” process to have greater success within the organization. The areas in which they do specialize are an opportunity for them to listen, evaluate, and potentially contribute suggestions which may benefit everyone in future.
Additionally, the introduction of smaller topic areas allows the brain to process information in more manageable “chunks”. Rather than trying to make sense of a topic which seems monolithic in size and importance, cutting it down into smaller pieces allows the individual to mentally breathe in between those sections.
Think of it as being like a journey. If you were to travel from one tip of Africa to the other in one go, you would be exhausted and unwell at the end of it. If, on the other hand, you include stopping-off points and rest breaks, you will allow yourself to recover and galvanize yourself for the journey ahead.
This approach applies in the healthcare example detailed above, but also in several other areas. A broader topic can be split down into more specific topics, which in themselves can potentially be split into more, even hyper-specific areas depending upon the audience you are dealing with. It is also essential not to overdo this.
By splitting down a topic repeatedly you can end up with so many chunks that the constant changing leads to a presentation losing its momentum. A balance between over-complication and over-simplification is essential. If you get it right in the middle, the presentation will flow naturally.
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