Should PowerPoint be Killed… or Should We Address the MIS-use of the Tool?
Should PowerPoint be Killed... or Should We Address the MIS-use of the Tool?
Disclaimer: these suggestions will not work in organizational climates that demand the ability to use the slide deck to brief those who did not attend the meeting.
KSP Partnership is proud to participate in the Black Diamond Charity work teaching returning veterans project management tools.
As part of this program, we help them prepare for the inevitable day when they will have to speak to leadership teams or change control boards. In other words – presenting, public speaking. You know - that which often causes nerves and other parts of you! - to act up. You might not realize how parts of you are bothered by the prospect. Particularly if you are in front of people who can determine the quality of life you will have after the presentation.
Your reptilian brain (amygdala) is frustrated. Your safety state is threatened and there are just enough folks in the audience that are not like you to make this part of your brain is uncomfortable.
Your processing brain (oh so much of your brain!) is hoping/wondering/praying that you remember everything – wait! Maybe I SHOULD have put everything on the slide! - it thinks very loudly.
Your heart is pounding – why are they all looking at us? it wonders. Is something unzipped? Should I worry? What if I say something weird?
It’s entirely possible you might start perspiring a bit. Is it warm in here or just me?!
Okay – first of all, you won’t die – REALLY! – from the act of public speaking. If you think about it, you speak to people all of the time. This time you may be standing and they are sitting. Think of standing as a power position – you have energy flowing right up to your brain when standing!
Second – simply channel the version of yourself who hates it when people read from their slides. Then remember when someone obviously knew their topic and still provided visual aids in the form of slides. That’s you, by the way. You got this.
Heart pounding? That’s good! It is a sign that you care – you care about your message, you care how the people listening respond to that message, and you care about representing your team well. Breathe in deeply, tell the energy from your pounding heart ‘Welcome! Now fuel me so I am just a little bit more ‘me’ when I’m up there!’ Because you don’t need to be anybody else. Just you.
And that perspiration? If it’s heavy – ‘cos that’s just how your body acts – make sure to bring a handkerchief or have a tissue handy. Wear either a jacket/sweater, or a shirt that you change into just before your presentation. Blot your brow then blow them away.
Ultimately, my response to the post predicting a long, painful and death for PowerPoint is this:
Appropriate use of any tool is always a sticking point – particularly when most of the time training is ‘on-the-job-eeek!’ style training.
That doesn’t mean the tool doesn’t have uses. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have the opportunity to make a strong point with it. It means use it appropriately.
Oh – and this might also be a handy resource – hope it helps!
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