Monday, October 8, 2007

PowerPoint Pity

Here I go on PowerPoint again.

I attended a presentation recently. The lights were dimmed and the speaker began his presentation -- you guessed it with PowerPoint. This first slide had FIVE bullet points and each one had a paragraph attached to it. To give the speaker credit, he did know his material and could speak eloquently about it. But his slides really didn't always fit, and they were boring graphs and facts. Ugh!

That very same evening I was a guest of Davis College for an annual event called Dining for Success. The business fraternity organizes this event every year for the students. They get the experience of being at a mock business meal. Also, they usually have a speaker talk about manners and business etiquette at these meals. This year the speaker was my friend, Linda Fayerweather of Changing Lanes, LLC. (that's her to the left. She really didn't have her eyes closed during the whole presentation!) She makes manners fun. She also brings a piece of paper that resembles a place mat with an image of a place setting. She then uses this to teach from. She also puts a few bullet points right on this handout. Simple and effective. No PowerPoint!

Over the last week in our newspaper, there was an article about a local congressman who had agreed to speak before a junior high class. He downloaded a government produced presentation from the web via a memory stick that he then transferred to his laptop. You can imagine his horror when he flashed his first PowerPoint image up on the screen only to see if contained a picture of naked women. Seems his teenage son had been surfing the net and had used the same memory stick. Just think of how much less hot water the congressman would have been in if he had only just talked with the students instead of having the electronic crutch that so many use.

PowerPoint is an excuse that makes for weak presentations, non-focused presentations, boring presentations and sometimes as in the case of the congressman, surprising presentations.

Which side of the PP aisle do you find yourself?

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