Just Say No to PowerPoint: Enough is Enough!


Have you ever been slideswiped? You walk into a meeting and once everyone has arrived, the lights are often dimmed and the show begins. The presenter clicks the mouse again and again, showing you slide after slide until you can take no more. Exasperated, you shut your eyes and doze off. You have just been slideswiped!


Or, have the training classes and presentations at your company become stale and commonplace? Do they tend to look and feel exactly the same regardless of the topic? The only difference is the words have been changed-Few presentations stand out and you begin to wonder if anyone in your company is capable of a creative thought. Maybe most of the presentations you see have started with one of the templates found in PowerPoint®. Do you need to communicate bad news? Click on the template "Communicating Bad News." Do you need to report progress or status? Click on the template "Reporting Progress or Status." Do you need to create an employee orientation training program? Click on the template "Employee Orientation." Do you need to create a company handbook? Click on the template "Company Handbook." Now, your company looks and sounds like all the others.


If you think these scenarios can't happen, think again. They already are happening in companies across the globe. PowerPoint® has become so popular it is now a synonym for a presentation. Instead of asking for a copy of the salient points in a training program or company presentation, people are now saying, "Please send me the PowerPoint® from Wednesday's class." Scott Adams is cartooning about it, too. In the first frame Dilbert is using a pointer and says, "As you can clearly see in slide 397?" In the next frame the audience is tearing their hair out and one of the employees falls over on the floor. In the final frame, Wally looks at him and exclaims, "PowerPoint® Poisoning!"


Recently, I was speaking at an off-site meeting for a software company and was scheduled to present immediately following the VP of Marketing who was talking about the possibility of downsizing. When I arrived, the room was dark and the VP was reading from the screen. I saw heads nodding and people dozing. He was on slide 23 and had 22 more to go! The audience had a handout on which each of the slides was printed and numbered and those still awake, read along with him. Why bother? There was no interaction and people were discouraged from asking questions. Just pass out the handout and go home.


Given the touchy nature of the subject matter, a "lights on," Q&A would have been much more effective. The handout could have been distributed prior to the meeting so people could prepare their questions. Instead, he simply read to a group of scared employees who were in the dark to begin with and who he ultimately left in the dark.


Many presenters and trainers have become addicted to this technology. It's like drugs are to junkies. The more it's used, the harder it is to stop using it. It becomes a crutch. And, there's a price to pay. Audiences tune out, fall asleep and dread wasting time sitting in a room where slideswiping is the norm. Productivity drops, learning doesn't happen and humans disconnect. It seems presenters and trainers have forgotten how important it is to communicate with a group rather than just read to them, and how important it is to connect with an audience rather than just dazzle them with special effects. General Hugh Shelton, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, issued the following order to our military bases around the world, "Enough with the bells and whistles, just get to the point." (Wall Street Journal, 4/26/00).
Remember, people process information in many ways. Some learn visually, others learn by listening, and the kinesthetic types prefer to learn through movement. It's best to provide something for everyone. Remember, visual learners do not learn from bullet points alone; they learn from pictures, graphs, and images. Auditory learners do not learn from listening to sound effects like bells ringing and typewriters clacking. Instead, they learn from listening to an engaging speaker whose voice is powerful and who captivates their curiosity. And, kinesthetic learners do not learn from the movement of words on a slide. They learn from doing, touching, and moving around. They like to be involved and participate.


Usually, people don't participate because they suffer from low self-esteem or have been humiliated sometime before. Perhaps they learned through early experience that there is a much greater chance of being embarrassed than of being rewarded when they speak up in a meeting or a class. They might be afraid that they have nothing important to contribute or that they will appear foolish in front of others. They may also be disinterested in what's going on; they may feel they don't have a "stake" in the outcome. While there is no one solution to the problem, there are several things that can be done to enhance communication. Start by changing "Are there any questions?" to "What questions do you have?" Invite participation. You just might get it. 
(c) Nancy Stern 2004 

Through her workshops, seminars and consulting projects, Nancy Stern MA, helps people keep connected through conscious communication because how you say what you say matters?. She can be reached at 800-280-2666 or on the webwww.nancystern.com/">www.nancystern.com
www.nancystern.com">


MORE RESOURCES:
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news


TechRepublic

Want to ditch PowerPoint? Here are 3 alternative tools for creating presentations
TechRepublic
Three of the most well-known presentation apps — Microsoft PowerPoint, Google Slides, and Apple Keynote — work similarly: You add a slide, insert content, then show the slides in sequence. All three of these software solutions work on all three of ...



Entrepreneur

TED Talk's Head of Conferences Reveals the Secret to Giving a Better Presentation, Every Time
Entrepreneur
While the approach may not be right for every presentation -- or presenter -- storytelling is a powerful tool for captivating, inspiring and engaging audiences. Read on to learn why it can be so effective and for some of Stoetzel's top tips for using ...



Inc.com

2 Easy Hacks to Vastly Improve Your Presentations
Inc.com
PowerPoint decks can be an very efficient way of sharing and presenting information. Yet, if they're bad, they are painful to create and even more painful to sit through. Today, I'm going to teach you two easy hacks to vastly improve your presentations ...

and more »


Seeking Alpha

Legal & General (LGGNY) Investor Presentation - Slideshow
Seeking Alpha
Legal & General (LGGNY) Investor Presentation - Slideshow. Jun.21.18 | About: Legal & (LGGNY). The following slide deck was published by Legal & General Group Plc ADR in conjunction with this event. 1152. built for the future June 2018 1 of proven ...



VG247

Someone leaked audio of the entire E3 Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay presentation
VG247
Despite only showing a short trailer, Cyberpunk 2077 managed to break out as one hottest games of E3 2018. A more in-depth hands-off gameplay demo was shown to press, publishers, retailers, and developers, but this was behind-closed-doors and not ...
Cyberpunk 2077 E3 2018 Presentation's Audio LeaksGamepur
Cyberpunk 2077 interview – 'We want to make sure you get just as much out of this as you did with The Witcher'Metro
It would appear someone snuck in a tape recorder to the Cyberpunk 2077 demo, this is - VocarooVocaroo

all 58 news articles »


Forbes

'Madden 19': Why Team Customization And Highlight Presentation Are Still Missing
Forbes
If you choose quick, you won't have highlights in your post-week presentation. If this kind of feature is ever going to make its way to Madden, EA is going to have to get to a point where they believe it increases the quality of the game enough to ...

and more »


Longmont practices presentation for All-America City bid
Longmont Times-Call
Longmont Power and Communications Spokesperson Scott Rochat, right, pretends to interview Longmont Public Works & Natural Resources Manager Dale Rademacher, center, Wednesday while rehearsing the city's presentation for its bid for 2018 National ...



WSAU News

Schofield Hears Presentation on Waterfront Redevelopment
WSAU News
SCHOFIELD, WI (WSAU) -- Schofield city leaders heard a presentation from Vierbicher Associates on Wednesday night about redeveloping the city's waterfront. Pam Brehm, Deputy Clerk/Treasurer for the city, says Schofield needs to work on becoming more ...



Arizona Daily Sun

Around the Town: Wildfires at center of films, presentation
Arizona Daily Sun
The film is a 60-minute multimedia presentation that combines Hessburg's research with the visual storytelling of North 40 Productions. The material comes in the form of fast-moving, short talks interspersed with video vignettes and animations and ...



Superior Telegram

Fasetto launches presentation technology
Superior Telegram
With innovative features in its hardware and software, Forum provides convenience and ease-of-use across many functions of presenting, making it an optimal business tool for the sales executive road-warrior, or anyone giving an in-person presentation.


Google News

Eitforum.com ©