Simplicity isn’t everyone’s friend. I find this true with engineers and scientists who argue that public relations schlocks like to distill their ideas to a point where they’re no longer recognizable. That’s not good. If we dumb down everything too much, we’re left with nothing but superficial banter stripped of meaning. Simplicity can be a double-edged sword.
Effective communications help audiences see complicated topics more clearly. They reveal realities that have been obscured by veils of complexity. Use your presentation, graphic, or text to unravel the mystery. Help your audience see patterns they couldn’t visualize on their own. Flag important points covered up by jargon or specialized language. Bring to the surface essential facts that may be lost in a block of extraneous detail.
Integrity matters. You never want to simplify anything to the point where you alter the meaning of your message. This is especially true in cases where audiences need specific information and key facts can’t be eliminated. For example, if you were explaining new audit methodologies to a group of auditors, it would be disastrous if you glossed over details that are pertinent to their jobs. Following generally accepted auditing standards (GAAS) isn’t a suggestion—it’s an imperative for anyone working in that field. Trainers who work with auditors to comprehend new standards and requirements must be focused on making content more comprehensible without omitting crucial steps.
Simplicity vs. clarity
Simplicity and clarity are similar in many ways, but different in other ways. The take-away here is that your job is to make content more accessible. Once again, it’s essential to “know thy audience.” Is your audience like the Indian farmers? They’ll be able to get along without understanding the technology behind cellular communication. Or is your audience more like the auditors?...
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