You are the presentation

PowerPoints are not your presentation, says Bert Decker in a post that gets across a point that anyone who ever needs to communicate with a group of people should bear in mind – you are the presentation and the PowerPoint deck or other media is purely your visual aid.

Decker uses Steve Jobs as a great example of an engaging communicator where, no matter the wow! factors of the Apple products he’s talking about and the cool audio-visual aids he uses, he is the centre of attention.

He is the presentation. Think about that.

(Photo by AP)

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Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. JeremyJacobs.com » Presenting without Powerpoint

    […] Trying to present an idea or to persuade an audience to do something needs you, the presenter or speaker to engage with your audience. Relying on technology like Powerpoint to help you out (unless you are a lecturer with a didactic style) will not work. I agree with the sentiments outlined at Neville Hobson’s blog. […]

  2. neville

    I’d definitely agree that some people who make presentations shouldn’t be using a PowerPoint. Usually, I think it’s because they don’t understand how to use the tool or how to engage with people in a ‘presentation context.’ In fact, they probably shouldn’t be making a presentation at all.

    But Steve Jobs is the proof that it can be done – compelling human communication combined with effective audio-visual support.

    So I wouldn’t use ‘always,’ Jeremy! I’d agree with ‘some,’ Terinea.

  3. Devaprasad

    Who answers your question or fulfills your need, the Presentation or the Presenter?
    The audience focus goes there. It is always great to hear some people talk because they deliver the right content without a presentation and the audience needs are fulfilled.
    This is restricted to the complexity of the message.

    What do you need to effectively convey the message that the audience wants?
    Its important to understand the knowledge gap of the audience that needs to be bridged (Current knowledge to Required Knowledge)

    The right medium helps communicate & get the message faster. The medium can be anything, a Power point presentation, a flash animation, a video, a hand written drawing, a visio diagram, a document or COMBINATIONS of these. We need to know the right media and organise them.

    Not all of them have the knowledge or resources to get the right media. Powerpoint is quick to make and modify. There’s the advantage and disadvantage.

    Powerpoint is also a very effective medium. Knowing the right ways to harness its power and making the point is very much needed.

  4. neville

    I think it really comes down to how to communicate effectively.

    If what you want to communicate will benefit from some kind of support vehicle – whether that’s a PowerPoint or whatever else – then go ahead. But only if you know how to use that to support what you want to communicate and how you want to engage with the people you’re with.

    Isn’t it about compelling story-telling?

    Sadly, there are far too few Steve Jobs in most organizations.

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