Death To PowerPoint

Death By PowerPoint

Ok, we’ve all heard of “Death by PowerPoint” (well, I’m advocating death to PowerPoint). 


It’s the unfortunate occurrence that happens when a speaker presents a wad too many slides (OMG, some people seem to go on and on forever –get them off that podium)!


Or when they present too much information, too little information, or just don’t know what or how to present at all. 


Their (slide) presentations leave the audience basically wanting to just kill themselves, if not the inconsiderate S.O.B. speaker.


But aside from lousy speakers, you have a crappy presentation mechanism, which is PowerPoint slides.


Hello out there, tell the truth…


Can any of you remember much of a darn thing that anyone has ever conveyed to you by PowerPoint?


Think of webinars, conferences, and meetings galore with slide after slide of 2-dimensional boredom.


Is your head hurting you yet or are you just glad you can’t remember any of it–natural selection of memory saves you the pain…why thank you.


Then consider what someone has told you in great thoughtfulness, confidence, or with genuine passion, caring and sincerity.


– Perhaps, the wisdom of a parent or teacher who took you aside to tell you a life’s lesson.


– Or a Rabbi or Priest who shared with you something spiritual and uplifting to guide you on your path.


– How about someone in the office who was passionate about an idea or project and who motivated you as well.


Most of the communication between people that really means something never makes it to a PowerPoint slide.


Imagine for a moment, if something meaningful was conveyed to you by slide presentation–you would think, how ridiculous it is to use PowerPoint for that?


– I love you–will you marry me?


– We’re having a baby, how wonderful. 


– Just got that promotion, yes!


– So and so is sick or just passed away, how terrible. 


PowerPoint just doesn’t happen here in real life–thank G-d!


And no matter how much organizations such as TED would like to make a (show)business out of presentations using PowerPoint…(ah, nope).


Real communication happens when one person talks from the heart to another person who receives it in their heart. 


The greatest orators in history…never used a slide presentation.


Other presentation products like Prezi tried to take slides to the next level with a storytelling format using a virtual canvas, but that didn’t pan out to well either…see many Prezis lately (and without getting dizzy)?


PowerPoint slides, and the like, are for distraction…now I don’t have to pay that much attention to the rambling, numbnut speaker anymore.


The bottom line…we don’t listen with our eyes!


Rather, we hear words of wisdom and see when someone is genuine, sincere and worth listening to.


The rest is PowerPoint… 😉

The Nomination Effect

The Nomination Effect

For some people they say that flattery gets you everywhere and it can be true.

Who doesn’t like to hear good things about themselves and their work?

It fills the WIIFM need in all of us (What’s In It For me)—by providing for recognition and seeming purpose.

Some people know how to use this –how to take advantage of others by “cozying up to them” and telling them how wonderful they are.

As they say, “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar!”

This is one of the marketing techniques–not really ethical–being used by some “event planners” to lure people to their conferences, meetings, and events.

They do this by not only showcasing the events great speakers, relevant and important topics, beautiful venue etc., but also by telling people they’ve been nominated for some prestigious award.

And it’s hard to tell which are real and which are fake.

The Nomination Effect (my term) is when event planners tell multiple people that they have been nominated for an award simply as a way to get them to come to an event they otherwise would not necessarily attend.

This plays to the ego of some execs by saying “somebody nominated you”—but there are few or no specifics.

And because so many execs get beaten up all the time at work, it’s certainly great to hear something positive. Plus it could be an easy way for some to add a nice credential to their resumes.

It’s all fine and good when it’s true and deserved for a job well done!

But some event planners misuse this to lure people to events and try to get a “30 minute call” with you to pick your brains for the event—what topics are hot, who are some good speakers, do you know any vendors that would like to sponsor it?

But when it’s just an “in” with people who may never otherwise give them “the time of day,” because of the important work they do, their genuinely busy schedules, and frankly because they are people they just don’t even know.

But the idea of The Nomination Effect is to tell execs that they can win an award at the event and how great they are so hopefully they will be putty in their hands and shell out money, time, and information to perhaps unreliable people.

Part of the scam is that the award winners aren’t announced until the event itself, so you must come—and pay first!

They tell the same line to the other nominees—maybe 5, 10, 25, 50 other people—or everyone they want to sign up—who knows.

This social phenomenon is enough to reel in many to pay for and attend events that may not be all that intellectually or socially enticing otherwise.

Here are the things I look for:

– People that seem genuine and not like car salesmen.
– Those with an affiliation to a well-established organization in the field.
– Nominations for actual contributions or achievements, rather than vague undertakings.
– Something on LinkedIn and/or the web that shows credentials and successful events prior tied to advancing the field, and not just making money.

A well-deserved award for hard-working professionals is something for all of us to celebrate.

But that’s different than promotional events and false—yet flattering kudos to manipulate lots of busy people. 😉

(Source Photo: here with attribution to PennStateNews)