Archive for the ‘Powerpoint pitches’ Category

Be bold: chuck PowerPoint … say, what?

September 6, 2012

Punch line: Despite a 95% share of presentation software, many companies are now starting to encourage stepping away from traditional power point slide presentations. 

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Excerpted from Businessweek, “Death to Power Point!”

Power point

No matter what your line of work, it’s only getting harder to avoid death by PowerPoint.

Since Microsoft launched the slide show program 22 years ago, it’s been installed on no fewer than 1 billion computers and an estimated 350 PowerPoint presentations are given each second across the globe. 

On June 18, the Iranian government made the case for its highly contested nuclear program to world leaders with a 47-slide deck … Two years back, the New York Knicks tried to woo LeBron James with a PowerPoint pitch, which may explain why James won his first NBA championship in Miami.

As with anything so ubiquitous and relied upon, PowerPoint has bred its share of contempt.

Plug the name into Twitter and you’ll see workers bashing the soporific software in Korean, Arabic, Spanish, and English as each region starts its business day.

Part of this venting may stem from a lack of credible competition:

PowerPoint’s share of the presentation software market remains 95 percent, eclipsing relative newcomers Apple Keynote, Google Presentation, Prezi, and SlideRocket.  

Sometimes … PowerPoint slides …do more harm than good. They bore audiences with amateurish, antiquated animation and typefaces and distract speakers from focusing on the underlying structure of their creators’ speeches.

The best speakers at any corporate level today grip an audience by telling a story … The boldest among them do away with slides entirely 

Even if you’re a middle manager delivering financials to your department in slides, you’re telling a story. 

Many of the top presentation gurus advocate judiciously limiting the role of PowerPoint.

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Rick Perry’s CLT …

November 10, 2011

At B&D, there was an oft used expression”CLT”.

That stood for “Career Limiting Transaction”:

A gaffe or mistake that was so consequential that it was virtually certain to bring a manager’s career progress to a screeching halt, never to be restarted.

In last night’s debate, Gov. Rick Perry became the poster child for CLTs.

Warning: Whether you like the guy or not, this vid is painful to watch.

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Death by Powerpoint …

February 22, 2011

What not to do when you pitch …

Thanks to MM for feeding the lead.

What to do if your speech is bombing …

August 19, 2010

When speaking …

Here are the things you don’t want to do if you sense your audience is losing interest:

1. Speak faster to end the ordeal sooner.
2. Speak softer so they can’t hear how boring you are.
3. Ask “May I Have Your Attention Please”
4. Look pissed off, as if it’s the audience’s fault that you are boring.

The easiest way to regain the audience members’ interest is to address them by name, and ask simple questions:

• Shane, has that ever happened to you?
• Roberta, how have you handled these situations in your business?
• Sanjay, are the financial markets affecting the industry as much in your country as they are here in London?

Audience members for business presentations are no different than people in other social interactions. The more you get your date to talk at dinner, the more charming you will be perceived.

So it is with your presentations.

Source: How to Give a Pretty Good Presentation by T. J. Walker

Ten Public Speaking Do’s and Don’ts

August 18, 2010

DO the following:
1. Be interesting.
2. Be passionate.
3. Tell stories.
4. Give examples.
5. Cite case studies.
6. Look at the audience.
7. Let people ask questions anytime.
8. Tell people why they should care.
9. Move your head, hands and body.
10. Finish on time (or early)

DON’T do the following:
1. Read your speech.
2. Do a data dump.
3. Show complex slides with lots of words and small graphics.
4. Stare at your slides and avoid your audience.
5. Be abstract.
6. Use big, complex words.
7. Use Jargon.
8. Be monotone.
9. Be boring.
10. Go over your allotted time.

Source: How to Give a Pretty Good Presentation by T. J. Walker

It’s Powerpoint’s fault … oh, really ?

May 3, 2010

The article below has gone viral, providing ammo for folks who dislike Powerpoint presentations.

To me — an avid Powerpointer —  the argument is downright laughable.

It’s a bad idea to get somebody to organize their thoughts and present them in a logical sequence?  Better to let them ramble aimlessly and hide behind undocumented points-of-view?

If there’s not enough information for deep understanding, then demand it !  There’s plenty of space on a Powerpoint slide and in appendices.

Takes too much time to prepare?  Try writing a 5 or 10 page memo.  Knock it out in less time?  Call me skeptical.

You think Powerpoint pitches are mind-numbing?  Then what do you think about windy teleprompter speeches?

As the saying goes: slides don’t kill, people do …

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Excerpted from NY Times: We Have Met the Enemy and He Is PowerPoint, April 26, 2010

PowerPoint has crept into the daily lives of military commanders and reached the level of near obsession.

“PowerPoint makes us stupid,” says Gen. James N. Mattis of the Marine Corps, the Joint Forces commander.

Brig. Gen. H. R. McMaster banned PowerPoint presentations … and likens PowerPoint to an internal threat.

“It’s dangerous because it can create the illusion of understanding and the illusion of control … Some problems in the world are not bullet-izable.”

In General McMaster’s view, PowerPoint’s worst offense is … rigid lists of bullet points that take no account of interconnected forces. 

Behind all the PowerPoint jokes are serious concerns that the program stifles discussion, critical thinking and thoughtful decision-making.

“Death by PowerPoint,” the phrase used to described the numbing sensation that accompanies a 30-slide briefing, seems here to stay.

Commanders say that the slides impart less information than a five-page paper can hold, and that they relieve the briefer of the need to polish writing to convey an analytic, persuasive point. Imagine lawyers presenting arguments before the Supreme Court in slides instead of legal briefs.

No one is suggesting that PowerPoint is to blame for mistakes in the current wars, but the program did become notorious during the prelude to the invasion of Iraq.

Full article: