Saturday, May 01, 2010

PowerPoint is Not the Presentation

I can think of no more practical leadership topic than the use of PowerPoint. This New York Times article about the negative results of the use of PowerPoint by the US military paints a clear picture.

It's easy to be fooled into thinking that your PowerPoint slide deck is your presentation. People say things like, "I can't make the meeting. Please send me your presentation." This causes people to think they have to make their slides speak for themselves. When you can do that, you can skip the meeting.

Your slides are not your presentation. They are a prop you use while you give your presentation. They are a way of emphasizing key points to help get a message across. They are also not your notes to remind you what to talk about. When you present, remember that PowerPoint is simply a tool you use while you give your presentation.