February 2, 2008

Death to PowerPoints

I hate traditional PowerPoint presentations. Indeed, I usually flat-out refuse any briefing that involves sitting through a WebEx of PowerPoints. Instead, I insist that slides be emailed in advance. That way, I can see what the key points are, what I find most interesting, what I most want to challenge and drill down on, and so on. (Similarly, I rarely sit through entire sessions at conferences. If that be ADHD, make the most of it.)

Fellow analyst Seth Grimes’ recent post decrying PowerPoints confirmed that I am not alone. And come to think of it, Seth feels the same way I do about conferences; he complains when he’s the host and actually has to attend the sessions, because that gets in the way of conversations he’d evidently prefer. On the other hand, not all analysts agree with Seth and me. For example, it would seem that a couple of Forrester research analysts actually like structured pitches.

If nothing else, this is an illustration of my point that different (kinds of) influencers need to be communicated with differently.

Edit: Another analyst turns out to share my utter hatred for WebExed presentations.

Comments

7 Responses to “Death to PowerPoints”

  1. Jeremiah Owyang on February 2nd, 2008 8:56 am

    It’s not really the structure that’s important, but that the communications are crystal clear and succint.

    While I enjoy meeting people, I love getting to know someone then they Get to the point and then get to the point.

    :)

  2. /pd on February 2nd, 2008 10:39 am

    PowerPoint is just another tool for communications. Just like a Whiteboard is.. What’s important is that you get a clearly defined message across. Thereby, creating a remarkable POV.

    If you take a look at any of Tom Peter’s PPT- generally most business people will not even get what the heck is the message, but it looks so jumbled up, unclear, bright color, irregular fonts etc. In short, no structure. Its not the PPT that is giving the message, its about the story teller who uses it.

    PPT is not dead, its how one uses it !!

  3. Know your audience : Strategic Messaging on March 6th, 2008 1:49 am

    [...] start with a 30-45 minute uninterruptible canned pitch. The chance that a one-size-fits-all pitch will actually fit any particular listener is rather [...]

  4. How to pitch me : Strategic Messaging on May 16th, 2008 12:04 am

    [...] particular, please don’t use desktop-shared slides. Email any PowerPoints in advance. Note: And I specifically [...]

  5. Softcopy formats « The IIAR Blog on November 23rd, 2009 11:57 am

    [...] sending an 8 MB deck isn’t well received by analysts who travel a lot. Oh, and I always send them in advance to let the analyst prepare, ask him/her if she/he has specific questions and suggest my [...]

  6. Notes on a spate of Netezza-related blog posts | DBMS2 -- DataBase Management System Services on June 21st, 2010 6:55 am

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  7. Presentations for small audiences | Strategic Messaging on August 24th, 2014 3:29 am

    [...] dislike of slide presentations is vehement and long-standing. Even so, my consulting duties often lead me to critique vendors’ slide decks, hoping to make [...]

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