Ep01 – Connection between style and substance


The idea behind such statement is twofold. First: “The substance of you” in sense of your mind and body, your family, social circles, job, your past and perspectives – simply everything that is you and affect your I is conveyed in one way or another. So whatever you are it is affecting your style/way of being/how you ar percieved by others. But that’s not the end, because if we count your style as a part of your “substance” it becomes obvious that way of conveying yourself to the world is also affecting the “real you” – the substance. To put it in other words – substance and style exist in symbiosis.

As we deduced it cannot be an equal symbiotic relationships because the style is only a part of your substance. Can we use such philosophical conclusion in practice? Yes and to say more – we not only can, but should acknowledge it while building our image. But more on this topic in next episode.

The second utilization of this concept: Substance of your message and style will be assessed as a whole by your audiences. It means that you could have break through idea but deliver it in unattractive style, even in academic environment, and as a rule the idea will be rated poorly. And analogically – not so cutting edge substance but great style and you’ll get the standing ovations (not every most popular TED talk provides woot!-like idea, but all of them got warm reception). So yes, it can be cruel, but this is a condition every one of us should consider and deal with. Thinkers have twofold responsibility – to create an astonishing idea and take care of delivering it with prodigious style so we all could and want to benefit from it.

Few pointers on flawless delivery – the KISS acronym, Keep It Simple, Stupid. In terms of designing the style and choosing rational arguments behind your message. Think of eye candy and relating to peoples rationality as a capital – spend it wisely, carefully and cut the flow where it doesn’t really contribute to making content vivid and clear. Further – Start with “why?” and build your presentation from there. Another one – Focus on the number three. It’s only natural when keeping your message simple. There should always be clear begging, main part and conclusion, distill your thought to three main points. You should describe what will you talk about, say what you want to say and then establish what you just explained. Also there are 3 questions you should answer while presenting: mentioned “why?”, “how?” and “what?”. Next pointer – apply what is called the French school of lecturing, every few minutes poke audience attention with little joke or short anecdote. Especially now when our attention span is ever shortening.

Do you have any thoughts on connecting substance and style? Please share in comments. Also if you want to be up to date click the “follow” button. See you next time.
– Przemek

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