Architects communicate in a very visual way.
I’d have loved to be an architect! Think about this: to communicate their ideas they create beautiful scale models with plenty of details that capture their client’s attention. And after that, you can always stop by the project site (house, building, stadium...) and see the progress for yourself.
Business ideas are often communicated through PowerPoint.
In a business environment the problem is not scarcity of ideas. The challenge is to effectively "sell your ideas" to others to get the resources, time or support to implement them. We also have to provide periodic progress updates and communicate results.
For that, millions of people around the world rely on PowerPoint.
But PowerPoint is boring... or is it not?
It’s funny but when most people think of the word PowerPoint the first thing that comes to mind is a looong, boooring meeting with never ending slides in microscopic font.
But now, think about TED talks (www.ted.com). These are fun, innovative, engaging and many of them use… PowerPoint! What's up with that? Wasn’t PowerPoint boring?
PowerPoint is a wonderful tool. Really!
Listen, PowerPoint is a tool that is very easy to learn, where you can mix text, images and movies; a tool where you can easily change the flow of your presentation by shuffling slides; a tool where you can combine slides from other presentations into the one you are working on; a tool that allows you to share your presentation with millions of other people without having to download funky plug-ins.
The difference between an engaging presentation and a boring one.
The difference it’s actually YOU. But don’t take it personal. Actually, our friends at Microsoft gave us a terrible user manual that shows up every time you open PowerPoint: a slide that says “click to add title” and “click to add text.” What do you think most people do when they see this? They follow directions! And the result is... a slide with a title and many bullet points.
Leadership is all about good communication. Including Presentations.
So, what should you do to break away from this trap? There's actually a lot you can do.
In this blog (my first one ever by the way…whohoo!), I want to inspire you to look for a better way to communicate your ideas.
I urge you to stop thinking of PowerPoint as a software tool and see it as more as a leadership tool. PowerPoint helps you paint a picture of your ideas and arrange them in a cohesive way to tell a story. In a nutshell, it helps you improve your communication skills so you can be a successful leader.
Lots of great ideas get buried after a terrible presentation.
Decision makers are often unable to “see” the value of a great idea due to the lack of a strong story. They “check-out” on slide three after getting tired of reading endless text. As a presenter you are demotivated and the idea is forever lost. Nobody wins.
But I’ve also seen and experienced awesome presentations where people “get it”; presentations where the audience is truly engaged, asking questions, offering other ideas and asking how quickly can you bring your idea to life. As a presenter, that feeling is awesome.
Where do we go from here?
In future blogs I will give you specific slide design advice, tips, hints, tricks, shortcuts and examples on how to better utilize PowerPoint so you can create truly remarkable presentations to get what you want.
So make sure you don’t miss any of that. Just go like my Presentation Blueprint Facebook Page so you can get all future blog issues.
P.S. – What bothers you the most about presentations you've attended? Please comment in the box below!