At some point in your rising career you will meet an Eighteen Point Someone
Regardless of your line of occupation, if you are successful and rising, sooner or later you’ll bump into and present to an Eighteen Point Someone. Unlike the underachieving Five Point Someones from Chetan Bhagat’s hilarious book by the same name, the EPS is a time constrained, attention deficit, impatient, decision maker. The EPS may have your promotion, funding, or resources at their mercy. If you met an EPS in domestic life, you can be sure their dog and family loves them but in the heat of everyday business the EPS is a different being…it comes with the territory.
The Eighteen Point Someone cannot see below eighteen point font or focus beyond one page
Lest you take the Chetan Bhagat Five Point analogy too far, I’m not talking about the EPS’ GPA but rather an optical problem most of them have – they cannot read fonts below eighteen point. Far too often I have seen the “EPS uninitiated” deliver large amounts of data, text, images and stats to get their point across, battling the time and optical constraints of the EPS. It’s a foregone conclusion, as their thoughtfully organized analytical masterstroke is smeared by the blur of their 10 point font. If your content, decision, analysis or whatever is below eighteen point and over one slide forget it!
Dealing with an Eighteen Point Someone is a PAIN but you will thank them in the long run
Remember the diamond? It’s just black and smudgy old carbon subjected to pressure isn’t it? Well, dealing with an Eighteen Point Someone does the same to you business communication. It crystallizes your thought, cutting through the smudge of TMI (too much information) to reveal just the key facets of your presentation that will lead to a quick decision.
At some point we were all Eighteen Point Someones
Remember Kindergarten? We all started there. The big picture of the apple and large font A worked so well…look how far we all came. Then at some point multiple fonts, varying line spacing, formats, colors, graphics, spreadsheets, tables, animations and effects took over. Brevity was beaten by Verbosity.
Get pithy back
Now if you only skimmed the bolded big font in this blog post, you are well on your way to being an Eighteen Point Someone yourself. If you read my entire blog, there is still hope for you. You now know what it takes to get past an Eighteen Point Someone.
I’m still working on it too :)
Sixteen Point Someone.
p.s Being a 12 point someone myself for longer than I can remember, I learnt the neat trick of having a 1 slide decision presentation with a 9 slide backup. Its works well. If you are lucky you get done with one slide and get your Eighteen Point credit. If you are unlucky, you are at least credited for being prepared.