Saturday, 17 December 2016

Thing 12: Presenting and sharing

The post for Thing 12 offers some helpful thoughts on presentation, independently of any electronic aids: think what exactly you're seeking to put across, who you're hoping to put it across to, what's the best structure for your message.  Indeed.  Those things are far more important than electronic aids, and may even lead you to decide that a given presentation should be done without electronic aids.  I follow public-speaking guru Max Atkinson on Twitter having first come across him, back in 2009, strongly disrecommending PowerPoint for facilitating presentation without skill.

I note that Max Atkinson's blog hasn't covered PowerPoint since 2011.  Has his influence led to public speakers being more skillful and restrained in their use of this tool?  It's only just occurred to me to ask on Twitter if people have noticed any such trend, and I have not set the Twitterverse ablaze thereby.

My subjective impression is that people are not using PowerPoint any less.  For the skill, I suppose I had better offer comparisons with my response to other media.  I can't recall a PowerPoint that frustrated me as much as an overhead projector presentation I remember from the 1980s (the presenter wrote her ideas on to the slides while speaking, and took each slide off before I had finished copying it into my notes).  But neither has a PowerPoint made me stand in the street and applaud (as a Carling Black Label ad once did, for its technique not its message) or moved me to tears (as an anti-drink-drive TV commercial once did, for everything).

My own offering is about washing up.  On my computer it has 5 slides, and on SlideShare, for some reason, slide 5 appears twice.  I'd better admit that I used Open Office Impress rather than PowerPoint, and perhaps there is some glitch between the open-source file and the other programs the upload led it through.

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