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“Daddy,” my son said to me the other day, “what have you been working on?”

I had been putting in some extra hours in my home office getting together two presentations that I need to finish.

“I am going to do a presentation for some other people,” I told him. “What’s it about?,” he asked me.

So I told him.

For the next 20 minutes, I started giving my presentation.

He asked me questions. Good questions. Questions I hadn’t thought to ask myself.

I explained some additional details that I hadn’t thought of providing, and kept his attention for 20 minutes straight.

When I was finished, I realized something magical had happened.

In the hours and hours it had taken me to put together this presentation, it was the best 20 minutes I had spent.

Why?

I had to speak in plain language.

I wasn’t worried about what I said or concerned about following my notes to a “t.”

Or missing missing part of the story.

I made complex points into simpler, bite-size pieces so that he could understand.

I used simple language. No industry jargon that we all get wrapped up in. I didn’t assume that he knew what I was talking about.

And the questions that he brought up weren’t just questions that an eight-year-old would have had; they were questions that other people would have had too.

For those 20 minutes, I was just plain old story-telling. To an eight year old. And I came to realize that it had made more of an impact on my presentation than anything else I had done.

So from now on, when you need to make an awesome presentation, tell it to an eight-year old.

You might be amazed what you will learn.

If you are interested in hearing more about the presentation, you can join me for a webinar, Background Investigations – Beyond the Basics on May 30th, or live at the 24th Annual ACFE Conference for a presentation on How to Utilize Open Sources/Public Records for Investigation in the United States on June 26th.

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