Thursday, October 18, 2007

Death by PowerPoint

No doubt you all have experienced the most painful death of them all…the dreaded “Death by PowerPoint.” Yes…slow, agonizing, life-extinguishing death…one slide at a time.

I’ve been there all too often recently. I've felt the vitality and energy drain from my body thanks to many well-intentioned slide-making disciples of Mr. Bill Gates. Slowly, painfully.

Let’s all make some commitments. There are other ways to communicate. We owe each other the courtesy of a little more effort - don't we? We can convey information without bulletized slides and microscopic words filling every square inch of white space on those slides – can’t we? Of course, we can.

Before you next teach a class, give a speech, or make a presentation (and what leader is not doing this in some format pretty much every day?), ask yourself these questions:

1. What is my message? What do I want to ensure “sticks” with those to whom I am speaking? Know this: they won’t remember your slides.

2. How could I get my point across without using PowerPoint? Be creative…but refer to point #1 above. Use stories, practical exercises, audience participation, etc. Don’t be cute. Do be…”sticky.” Bring some energy. Deliver with passion. Be different. Create life (not death)!

3. How well would I receive this information if it were presented to me in this manner? If your eyes would roll into the back of your own head…you’ve got problems.

Don’t we owe it to each other to do more than throw some bullets on a slide? Aren’t we interested in investing a little more to ensure that our message gets through? Isn’t there another way?

Come on, people! This is fundamental communication stuff. And PowerPoint, as much as I love it, is fundamentally lazy! This is…Leader Business.

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