Never Blame Your Tools 

I was at an event the other day and one of the delegates approached me to discuss a presentation that had occurred earlier in the day.

He said “Well, that was death by power point”. 

My father always said to me “Never blame your tools” – And that is what Power Point is – it’s a tool.  I have seen some wonderful presentations that have used visual tools like power point to support the speaker or provide visual impact. 

Too often we blame “power point” and in my view that is not what we should be staring at.  It’s not about blaming the speaker either. I am yet to find someone who deliberately sets out to put their audience to sleep – unless you are a hypnotist and putting us to sleep is part of the act. 

It’s very tempting when asked to prepare for a presentation to open power point and hit slide one when there are better ways to begin the process.   

I provided my speech and presentation structure guide (a tool!) to someone who was asking for help.  I checked in with them to see how their progress was going.  They said ‘It has been very helpful, thanks! The feedback I got from my last talk was that the message was not very clear. So, I used the speaker map to help identify the purpose of the talk and to distill my three key topics’ – presentation Monday!

I am confident that had a process like that happened, the speaker and the audience in the first case would have had a better experience.