Lately at Duarte, we’ve been bemoaning the overwhelming number of “listicles” on the Internet. They show up all over the place, and the sad reality is we click on them all the time. The 15 Habits that will Change your Life, or 8 Foods You Should Never Eat, and 10 Tips from the Well-Traveled Business Professional.

We click on them with the hope that we will learn something new and be able to apply it immediately. But instead, we get to the article and find ourselves saying, “Meh.” Why?

Because most listicles don’t convey new ideas; they are just a laundry list of facts we already knew repackaged with a catchy title.

Presentations can be a lot like listicles. The typical corporate overview informs listeners of the year the company went in business, the number of awesome clients they have, and how many rock-star employees work for them. Sales pitches drone on about product features without ever connecting them to benefits.

The problem with presentations like these is the same problem I have with listicles: they choose to share information over ideas, facts instead of concepts. And facts alone don’t change you; they don’t stick. Ideas are like food for the soul. They are meals consumed slowly, with friends, where you savor every bite. And they stick with you for a long, long time.


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