Friday, January 8, 2010

BNET Team Taskmaster: Please, No More Death by PowerPoint! (9/15/09)

A common presentation tactic is to use the handy dandy Powerpoint. Who can beat those seamless slide transitions with words and pictures flying onto our slides?

To juice up our presentations, take a look at this post by CC Holland.
Oh, you want me to join your meeting for a quick info download? Great. Don’t forget to tell me to build a PowerPoint presentation.
Instead of letting me speak to the group for three minutes to explain the new initiative, make me present a slide deck. With bullet points. And, preferably, with cutesy little graphics. Bonus points for animated slides.
Make sure we take time to futz with the A/V setup, pull the blinds, and make sure everyone in the room has a good sightline. Burn a little time by making me stand up in front of the group and assigning some random person to click through my presentation for me.
By all means, have me read verbatim from the PowerPoint slides. After all, it would be heresy for me to be spontaneous, natural, or (God forbid) collaborative with my audience.
Remind me to make 14 hard copies of the slide deck to pass out at the conclusion of my talk, which has now taken 20 minutes instead of the anticipated three. Why? Because no one was paying attention to the presentation anyway, so they might want to read it later.
Also, it makes people feel important to walk away from a meeting with a sheaf of paper. Let’s not worry about the trees or the company’s “Go Green!” initiatives.
And above all, never mind that it took me a grand total of two hours — building the slide deck, making copies, and presenting — to convey information that, again, should’ve taken three minutes, max.
What a great use of my time and a fabulous way to boost my productivity! The corporate reliance on PowerPoint for all purposes is clearly a wonderful, wonderful thing.

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