Is Using Powerpoint Presentation Important?

Over a trillion installations worldwide. 30 million presentations created every day. As you read this article, there are approximately 63,000 PowerPoint presentations worldwide. Huge numbers of Microsoft’s PowerPoint presentation software. But how much use do all these presentations really bring? Especially in summer temperatures, the hardest “PowerPoint time” comes: people should be inspired for ideas in the dark. From my point of view, PowerPoint does not provide any benefit in most cases, but kills innovation, productivity and speed.

At a customer meeting last week, the assistant asked me courteously: “What kind of plug do you need to connect your laptop to? My answer was: “None at all, we want to talk.” When my conversation partner entered the room, he asked: “Haven’t you been helped to plug in the laptop yet? I replied again this time: “Yes, but I want to talk to you, because only when I understand what your problem is can I present you with a solution strategy”. Who doesn’t know such or similar situations: How long has it been since your last meeting, when you sat in a semi-dark room staring forward at projected slides? Most presentations of this kind have one thing in common: they are boring and do not lead to a constructive conversation.

It gets particularly bad when PowerPoint is not used as a presentation medium, but as a documentation medium. Font size 10 and a text block perceived as a whole by the eye are usually the result. The only sensible areas of application for PowerPoint are: The short and concise presentation of theses, project results or to accompany core statements in a keynote. For all other applications, other media are preferable.

From my experience, the following dangers arise when using PowerPoint:

Discussion remains at heading level

Participants discuss/decide on the basis of colorful images and very reduced content important strategic topics without really having a common understanding of the target image. This often leads to chaos when implementing the supposed results.

Project speed drops drastically

Instead of producing results, you spend days creating or “beautifying” presentations by discussing whether the flowchart should be visualized in by triangles, lines or squares.

Work results deteriorate and there is no innovation:

Sitting for several hours in a darkened room and listening to a PowerPoint presentation is exhausting and tiring. The breeding ground for creative solutions and innovative ideas looks different.

So-called workshops become “Abnick events”:

In a real workshop, results for a concrete problem are discussed and worked out together. The reality is often that a program prefabricated in PowerPoint runs and the faster everyone says “yes”, the better it is. Usually there is no prior preparation of the participants for the contents and the interaction is reduced to a minimum.

Making Powerpoint an exception

Perhaps you are thinking, does this mean that PowerPoint is no longer being used? No, there are situations and topics where the presentation of slides is an effective tool. I recommend the following requirements:

No set of slides with more than 20 slides

Assuming a presentation time of 3 minutes per slide, the total calculated presentation time is 60 minutes.

In 80 percent of the cases, PowerPoint is no longer required

Use only for the presentation of results in the decision-making committee, support of a keynote at an employee event (but then please NOT with slides of the project, but completely adapted to the speech, reduced slides, a maximum of ten words per slide), visualization of content as part of a formulated document to “loosen up the text” with illustrations.

Especially in the current market environment, it is not only the quality of the product or service but also the organisational speed that determines the strategic positioning of the future. Therefore, do not spend time on PowerPoint presentations, because the time required does not concern the presentation itself, which only takes up the smallest amount of time. Preparation, coordination and post-processing consume the most resources.

Be it your own personnel or material costs from external consultants. If you use these valuable resources for the project goals, each project will increase in speed by at least 40 percent compared to previous projects.

Alternatives to PowerPoint there are many that are my two favorites:

Strategy documents

Formulated documents with a maximum of five to six pages. Whoever writes in whole sentences thinks – and whoever thinks produces better results.

Media technology

Any media, from flip charts to MindMaps, Post-Its et cetera, followed by a photo and result report and, if required, a forwarding of the images to a service provider for the creation of a written report.

Both variants require an organizational culture of consequence, because a strategy document is required. An example only serves its purpose if all employees have dealt with it before personal meetings, telephone or web conferences. Otherwise, the next productivity killer will emerge: investing time to bring everyone up to the same level of knowledge. If you are not prepared, you do not attend the meeting – or the meeting is adjourned.

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