My husband and I are always working on our relationship. Our therapist says that we obviously still “dig each other”. We took it seriously when the priest who married us told us we had “a responsibility to be happy”, and we learned long ago that Happiness is hard work, well worth the effort we put in…. But, I don’t mind sayin’, HARD sometimes! There are more than a few How To books on our shelves.
So, I had to laugh out loud today when I turned the page of Nancy Duarte’s SLIDE:OLOGY (my visual storytelling guru’s book and a must-read for all of my clients) and read:
“Dense content on slides can be addictive”
“You are in a codependent relationship with your [slides and website content] if you are desperately addicted to them and unable to break away. The first step is to admit you have a problem. The second is to acknowledge that your [slides and website content] have become unmanageable.” – Nancy Duarte
Yep. Even our relationship to our presentations needs therapy. I see my clients white knuckling their grip on their old websites, especially when we are close to launching, and they realize I’ve radically reduced the amount of WORDS on their new site. “But,” they ask with panic in their voice and a sudden mad distrust of me, “how will people know the answers to all possible questions they may have?”
Actually, only about 2% of your visitors are spending more than 28 seconds on your homepage, and FAQ’s were created for a reason.
But, you are not alone for feeling the lure of the drug. Whether slides, presentations, or your website, most default platforms and templates encourage enormous amounts of content, paying no attention to the effect this has on your audience. “But wait, there’s more…”
Here is an amazing exercise to help free yourself!
This is suggested by Duarte to help free yourself from your dependency on Too Much Unnecessary Text.Â She references presentation slides, but this applies perfectly to website home pages:
- Put everything that you want to say onto your slideshow presentation (or rough sketch of website homepage). Practice presenting your slides a few times, then highlight only one keyword per bullet point.
- Practice delivering those slides again, but focus only on the highlighted word. The other words are still there for reference. Do this until you feel confident with the keywords. For your website, make sure that each section on your home page highlights your keyword or phrase and can stand alone.
- Once you can deliver the slideshow with just the keywords, remove all of the other words and present just with that. For your website home page, all that should be left are the keywords and phrases that are most essential. Remove the “explanation”.
- Ideally, replace the remaining text with an image when possible. For the website home page, the use of images with minimal keywords will create a strong call to action to click and enter the navigation, ultimately towards a desired transaction.
One day at a time, as you experience the powerful new impact you have on your audience when they are able to receive your passion clearly without all the excess baggage, you will learn to follow Duarte’s Golden Rule: “Never deliver a presentation [or launch a website] you wouldn’t want to sit through [or view].”
Keep coming back. It works, if you work it.