I had dinner the other night with some friends at a seafood restaurant. Their special for the night was the “Lazy Lobster”. I asked about the name, and they told me it was the meat from a one-pound lobster, cleaned and put into a dish so that the diner would not have to go through the trouble of picking out the meat themselves. The special was so popular that there was only one left, which my friend ordered.
He got an excellent dish; I got an excellent metaphor.
When you present to busy executives for a decision, you should serve them the lazy lobster. Too many presentations are put together like a whole lobster, where the recipient has to go through the trouble of picking the meat out themselves.
You serve the “lazy lobster” by separating out the meat is in your presentation from the shell of unnecessary detail, and then serving it to them in an appealing and easily digestible format.
You should do the thinking so that they don’t have to. I’m not implying that decision makers are lazy or stupid, but they are faced with tons of information and decision points every day, so they will appreciate the clarity provided by someone who has made it easy for them. It’s not “dumbing down”; it’s adding value by figuring out precisely what they need to know and why it’s important to them, and then laying it out in an orderly and logical manner.
Your audience is like any parent who reads these dreaded words on Christmas Eve: “some assembly required”. They will be grateful for anyone who does the work for them.