Seth Godin is the author of ten books about marketing, change and work that have been bestsellers around the world. His blog is one of my favourites. Below is a post that he wrote cautioning against the overuse of data. It is excellent advice for anyone making a presentation and complements my previous post with the quote by Margaret Thatcher.
Too much data leads to not enough belief
by Seth Godin
Business plans with too much detail, books with too much proof, politicians with too much granularity … it seems as though more data is a good thing, because data proves the case.
In my experience, data crowds out faith. And without faith, it’s hard to believe in the data enough to make a leap. Big mergers, big VC investments, big political movements, large congregations … they don’t usually turn out for a spreadsheet.
The problem is this: no spreadsheet, no bibliography and no list of resources is sufficient proof to someone who chooses not to believe. The skeptic will always find a reason, even if it’s one the rest of us don’t think is a good one. Relying too much on proof distracts you from the real mission – which is emotional connection.