My National Speakers Association colleague, Beth Terry, CSP, sent me an interesting color visual presentation on the changing monthly unemployment demographic in the United States since 2007 – county-by county. Amazing and scary. Check out this 36 second video here.
This recently happened to my NSA colleague, Dianna Booher, CSP, CPAE. As she clicked on the one and only slide that the audience really needed to see (versus the other humorous ones), the computer froze. The remote would not move it backward or forward. She strolled to the keyboard itself and click it. No luck. Fortunately, the A/V crew appeared from behind the stage immediately to handle the situation.
They rebooted – which probably took a few minutes. Not surprisingly, she continued her presentation without skipping a beat because she’s a pro. And as a pro, her slides simply supported the message; they were not the message.
Can you successfuly give your presentation when the A/V goes out?
Dianna explains this and other A/V maladies and remedies in her recent blog posting. Check it out!
There’s a great article in the NY Times about the use and abuse of PowerPoint in the military. As a retired Coastie, I completely empathize, although I think PowerPoint has run rampant as an excuse to spoon feed people who “need to know”.
If you are going to put all the information you “need to know” on the PowerPoint slide, then why bother with the presentation? The article also says that Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates reviews printed-out PowerPoint slides at his morning staff meeting, although he insists on getting them the night before so he can read ahead and cut back the briefing time.
Whether you agree with his strategy or not, this is a sound tactic. Meetings are for discussion, not for mind-numbing PowerPoint presentations.
Question: If you do use PowerPoint, is it helping you tell the story, or should you provide the information as a read-ahead or a take-away?