This is the subhead for the blog post
“…I’d like to talk about Politics…but first, a little Foggy Mountain Breakdown…” Steve Martin
I’ve ranted about the evils of Power Points before…here’s another one. :.)
I’m sure most people reading this post have been in the following situation: Sitting or standing in a bar or nightclub, having an adult beverage and groovin’ to whatever aural or visual stimuli present in the moment. Suddenly, you catch the eye of an attractive person of whichever sex you fancy…you drift closer together and begin a conversation that could lead to…most anything. All the while, the surrounding atmosphere of the location is acting not as a distraction to your attempted seduction, but an enhancement to it.
After many years, I finally understand why people do PowerPoint presentations. Speakers can glance at a slide and immediately get cued into what should be said at that moment. After the presentation is over, someone who viewed the presentation can refer to it as a way to remember key points that might have been made.
However, IMO, the great majority of PowerPoints I’ve seen diffuse the speaker’s message…they don’t enhance it…and I take away much less from the presentation than I would if the PowerPoint were not present. Plus, such an extraordinary amount of time is spent on a document that’s basically a sidelight to the main purpose of the presentation…which is to hear the speaker speak.
If the PowerPoint weren’t present, we’d be forced to give the speaker our undivided attention.
Alternatively, if the speaker weren’t present and we weren’t sitting in a meeting room or an auditorium looking at a PowerPoint, we’d be forced to give it our undivided attention.
If we’re aware of the sort of stimuli that can enhance an environment, wouldn’t we rather use that to enhance our messaging instead of something that very might well detract from it?
As I’m writing down these words, Rhapsody has finished going through each of Noel Gallagher’s solo albums and has begun the new Iggy Pop record. The music I’m listening to, along with the diffused lighting in my home office, caffeinated body chemistry, fan blowing on my back, ergonomic chair, widescreen 4K monitor, wrist brace, elbow rest, ergonomic mouse and ergonomic keyboard, gets me into the proper vibe for writing that allows me to access thoughts and transcribe them optimally.
So why wouldn’t a speaker present a talk on search marketing with a visually stunning video such as this playing in the background instead of the same old boring PowerPoint filled with charts, graphs, and random sci-fi characters? While cranking the volume up on the video would interfere with the presentation, the visuals would be compelling enough to rivet attendee attention away from their phone or the floor or the wall to the stage where the compelling visuals will draw the focus, accentuating the speaker’ words emanating from the same spot in the room.