Our Presentation Reality
You are sitting at your desk working away at the latest and greatest version of your product when you hear the Outlook ding saying you have a meeting in the next 15 minutes. Your boss will be giving an hour presentation on the finer points of virtual relationship (gag! Who would want to talk about that!?😊) Picture this scenario in your head. Who are you seeing? How excited are you about this meeting or any meeting for that matter?
Many of us will try our best to stay awake while the boss drones on. The wall of text appears up on the board, and he reads directly from the slides shown on the screen like a personal teleprompter. He tries to throw in some cheesy joke about a penguin, and you do your nominal laugh along. Finally, after fifty-three minutes of monotone greatness that you know the boss did not enjoy either, he calls it quits and everyone bolts for the door as if released from hard time into the freedom of the world again.
Sound familiar? No, it is not just your company; it is the entire business world! We all hate the dreaded “Death by PowerPoint.” Yet, we keep producing them meeting after meeting. It makes no sense once you stop and think about it. There must be a better way!
The Knowledge Unknown
Now that the thought is out there, why do we insist on making white slides covered in black lettering that we hate so much? There are a couple of reasons why I believe this is true. First, the system is stacked against us. When you open PowerPoint, it says “Click to add title” and “Click to add text.” As good humans, we obey and start adding text. When we get to the bottom and run out of room, a magical thing happens! All the text gets smaller giving you more room. So, you add more text.
People have always said too many slides makes a terrible presentation, because people get bored with all the clicking and flipping. Plus, a lot of slides means a long presentation. It must mean that right? It is simple math…right? Nope, you created a wall of text. Congratulations, you put your audience asleep.
The second reason that we have such crappy presentations is that we spend no time on them. If you really want people to adopt our ideas, don’t you think you should spend some time on that message? Still, we think that the wall text is expected and acceptable.
Also, we simply do not know better.
It will be a Great Week
So how do we change what we know? How do we turn the boring black and white screens of text into something more impressive? We will dive into that more this week.