Random posts on random subjects in my random world

Posts tagged ‘PowerPoint’


PowerPointIt’s practically part of the English language, admittedly an expletive usually precedes it, and very much embedded within corporate life – PowerPoint! Ask anyone to prepare a presentation and they’ll start up the favoured application* of Microsoft’s Office empire.

I read with interest and a wry smile an article on the BBC’s UK Magazine about PowerPoint hell in which they highlight the main problem – they’re just so boring and I couldn’t agree more! I’ve lost count over the years at the number of presentations I’ve seen with more bullet points adorning a slide than a Wild West shoot ’em up movie, text size that is unreadable to naked eye and the need to use every colour of the rainbow.

The BBC article, based on PowerPoint’s 25th anniversary, picks up on most of these problems and more. So what can we do the change this? Well, one answer may well be to look East, the Far East actually. Pecha Kucha was devised in Tokyo and could be the way forward from those sleep inducing presentations.

Pecha Kucha is a presentation format in which content can be easily, efficiently and informally shown whereby the presenter shows 20 images for 20 seconds apiece – a total time of 6 minutes, 40 seconds. That’s it. No going over your allotted time, no time for waffle, just straight to the point making it memorable.

I’ve proposed to try this method to with a project team at Ericsson who want to prepare a presentation to employees around Information Security ISO27001. They seem keen to give it a go. If it works, then maybe I can start to rollout more presentations like it – and who knows we could signal the end of death by PowerPoint!

*Just to be clear, my favoured application is NOT PowerPoint, Keynote for the Mac wins hands down. Now if only I could convince the global IT guys to switch us all over to Apple :-)

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Ok, here’s the brief: you need to engage all employees; communicate with all employees in an informative and of course innovative way; you need to promote the management team; you need to instil a sense of belief of one Ericsson; you need to deliver a review of the year with all parts of the business represented; you need to provide a means for instant feedback and questions; you need to reinforce our strategic direction. What do you do?

 

I know exactly what you’re thinking… Powerpoint presentation right? 20 or 30 slides per person? 10-15mins per speaker? Block out a couple of hours to deliver the message? Plan weeks in advance on the messaging – who’s going to say what? Let me stop you there! The part of my job I love the most is breaking down the barriers of tradition. Blowing away the thoughts that it can’t be done any other way. Powerpoint rules! Wrong.

 

This week has finished on a high for me with an all employee meeting today that defied all of the above. There were no slides; nine members of the management team including the Head of our organisation, all managed to get air-time to talk about successes, opportunities, customers, improvements, competitors; employee recognition was celebrated; and all inside 40 minutes!

 

Can it be done? Oh yes it can (sorry it’s panto season here!). We delivered a successful chat-show style event today which ticked all the boxes, which even the management team seemed to enjoy. Yes there is a time and place for Powerpoint, but today we turned a corner with a more open and engaging management team (together with a not too bad Comms team of course!) Let’s hope that begins to spread.

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