Why All PowerPoint Presentations Suck
|June 17, 2012||Posted by wpadmin under Uncategorized|
Every time someone gets out the PowerPoint presentation, my Pavlovian response is to start reflexively snoring. I’m often not wrong to drift off to sleep right away. What ensues is typically a monotone reading of bullet points that the speaker may not have even written themselves which means that we and the speaker are “experiencing the information for the first time together.” Not good. They typically have about 4x more slides than they need and their story is disjointed at best. It’s like they took a bunch of information, put it in a blender, and then pulled out bullet points and stuck them on slides randomly. My favorite part is when they say, “Gosh I’m sorry that this slide is quite busy and hard to read.” Well then why didn’t you make it un-busy and easy to read? Or why didn’t you take the time to make this whole presentation un-shitty and un-boring? It just makes it that more impressive when you see a presentation by the likes Steve Jobs or Guy Kawasaki. They both despise PowerPoint because they believe that it destroys thought – that it corrupts organic thinking and storytelling…and they are right. As you may have heard, Kawasaki has a rule of 10-20-30 for PowerPoint presentations: a PowerPoint slide desk should be more than 10 slides or less, 20 minutes max length, and 30+ point font. During the two recent presentations I gave, I actually ignored my own slide desk and just told my story in the most organic and compelling manner I could while interacting with the audience for a substantial portion of the time. While I certainly stand to improve in many areas, those were the best talks I have ever given. While I’m not going to completely abandon PowerPoint, I think I’m going to use it very sparingly from now on. Right now I’m reading a book called, Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs, and it is very well written. It has convinced me of one of life’s important truths – to be interesting, persuasive, and influential you must learn to tell compelling stories. Maybe that is why Steve Jobs was so mesmerizing and Apple and Pixar so successful. Perhaps stories are the most important things mankind has to offer.