On Presentation: Be Deliberate, Never Accidental

“I do a lot of things for effect, which is not to say I am superficial, but that I know how to put ideas across.” – Sebastian Horsley, Born Aug. 8, 1962.

Our job is to put ideas across.

And to that end, we need to be deliberate about our use of every possible aspect of a given communication.

Of course there are the words that comprise the message, and we all understand the importance there.

And there is the design of the page, too. Another one most people get.

Now, in this age of instant video streaming, the language of cinema is becoming more important for us all to learn and master.

Music. Lighting. Angles. Sound. Tone. Color. Sequence. Motion.

The palette which we all can use to persuade the masses to fulfill our will has grown in complexity, but also in power.

And we must be deliberate with that power.

And when I say deliberate, I don't mean that every aspect has to be planned and perfected. But what I mean is there shouldn't be any aspect of your work that is the way it is by accident. It should be a deliberate choice and should be consistent.

So for example, I don't focus on graphic design for my own stuff. I prefer a minimal, almost bootleg quality to my material. It's plain, and that puts the focus on the content. It's not FOR people who would skip it for being “ugly”.

I'm aware that things need to have a “look” but I am DELIBERATELY choosing to minimize that aspect, as far as the “Cult of Copy” project is concerned.

Black and white mostly. Simple fonts. Focused on text.

And I try to keep that “style” choice consistent, so that my material all seems to be of a kind.

But I'm not talking only about aesthetics.

Functionally, there are psychological reasons that I deliver my material in this way.

In other words, I have an IDEA about me and my work that I want to put across.

My lack of focus on gloss and polish makes a statement about what DOES matter to me. I want the writing to carry the whole thing across. And I write for fellow smart professionals, not the unwashed masses.

So no flash, no fluff.

My “from the hip” production also is reinforced by the production philosophy that I use and preach. I aim to get things from my brain to yours as fast as possible. So I focus on live performance on video, rather than slick production and editing. My writing is informal, confessional, like a journal to myself or a note to a friend.

The “look” matches the “talk” which also matches the “walk” – every bit of what people see from me puts across the same, unified point of view. Deliberately.

It’s not that my choices are THE CORRECT choices. They are just the ones I made for myself, but I MADE them on purpose. I thought about it, and do it on purpose.

Are you at least attempting to do that? Merely attempting will take you far, since almost no one does this.

How can you use neglected aspects of your communications to better put your own ideas across?

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