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. The post below appeared on his blog on 21 January 2010.
In a previous post, I quoted Margaret Thatcher who said that a statistic should tell a story. The problem with too many presentations these days is that speakers fill them with so much information that it overwhelms the audience. It is important to strike the right balance between logic and emotion.
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.