Watching some sports talk ‘analysis’ tonite — three ex-jocks trying to elaborate on the finer points of a game that admittedly is not my number one passion. I was having trouble paying attention, and tried to figure out the reason why. I think I may have discovered it.I was frustrated that I missed a score that was scrolling by the wavy ticker behind the desk, then watched the ticker and missed the point one of the jocks tried to eloquently make. Upon further review, I noted that there were two screens showing highlights or some manner of replay behind the desk, the logo showing the game under discussion had about four flashing colors and three panels of moving graphics, and the logo of the show had a comet-looking periodic flash traveling a crazy path across another panel. All told, there were seven (7!) things moving on the screen that were not people. Even blurring my eyes I couldn’t figure out what I was supposed to be watching.Speakers do the same thing. PowerPoint shows have gratuitous animation that adds nothing to the content, speakers have nervous ticks that draw more attention than the message, and backdrops and distracting elements — even open windows and doors — draw attention away from the speaker and what they have to say. This should not be. If the message is important, focus the attention squarely on it.
Eliminate anything that will distract from your message.