“Experience without theory is blind, but theory without experience is mere intellectual play.”
— Immanuel Kant
There are many types of bad speakers, and this article is about two of them:
- Speakers who bury audiences in an avalanche of data without providing the significance.
- Speakers who discuss theories and ideals, completely detached from real-world practicalities.
Both of these speakers fail because they don’t understand the ladder of abstraction.
In this article, we define the ladder of abstraction, give several examples, and explore why it is important for all speakers. Then, we explore specific strategies that you can apply to improve the balance and understanding in your presentations.