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Deep or Wide, But Not Both

Choices. Trying to say too much. Trying to do too much with a presentation. Tradeoffs.

In The Craft of Scientific Presentations Michael Alley touches on a similar idea. In this book he suggests that you can go deep (depth) or you can go wide (scope) but it is very difficult to do both in, say, an hour lecture or conference presentation. The key, then, is to set realistic goals, and if you decide that you need to go deep then you have to seriously consider reducing the scope. Sometimes, in life as in presentations, you just have to make a choice about what’s important, and let go of the rest (at least for the time being).

That’s from Presentation Zen: Deep or wide? You decide. As you expect from this blog, it’s put together very well.

He also has an interesting discovery near the bottom of this post:

You already know about the talks available at TED, but you may not be aware of the hundreds of presentations and speeches available for free that are part of the @Google Talks including Authors@Google, Women@Google, Candidates @Google, etc.


  • Matthew Scott says:


    I really appreciate this post as someone who presents a couple times a month I'm always seeking to improve.

    I visited TED about two months ago and really enjoyed this format and watching/listening to speakers.

    I would also recommend as a great resource for viewing wonderful prepared presentations. This FREE service even allows one to upload and share your latest presentation.


    Matthew Scott,
    Just Google men@pause

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