While your audience is listening to your presentation, they are determining in their minds what was interesting versus what was superfluous. And given the current social media environment, they have a forum to—very publicly—let others know their impression of your presentation. Their feedback can be brutally honest, too. So if you don’t edit it, the audience will be frustrated, and they might have the creative chops to distribute their thoughts to thousands of their social network followers.

Make edits on behalf of the audience; they don’t want everything.

It’s your job to be severe in your cuts. Let go of ideas even if you love them, for the sake of making the presentation better.

It’s unlikely you’ll ever hear an audience member say that your presentation would have better if it had only been longer. Audiences don’t want more content. They want more clarity! The ability to balance the amount of information that’s withheld versus the amount that’s communicated is what separates great presenters from the rest. A presentation’s quality depends just as much on what you leave out as what you choose to put in.

Whenever you feel an impulse to perpetrate a piece of exceptionally fine writing, obey it—whole- heartedly—and delete it before sending your manuscript to press. MURDER YOUR DARLINGS.–Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch

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