Tuesday, January 26, 2010

PowerPoint-Less Presentations!

I am reading The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great In Front of Any Audience (Carmine Gallo, 2009). It is based on modeling the presentation techniques of Apple’s foremost evangelist of the runaway hits - iPod and iPhone. Not rocket science really; Jobs still delivers his thoroughly prepared presentation with PowerPoint slides with his unique personal branding and style.

My Australian friend, Alfred Hayes told me a few days ago how annoyed he gets with high-tech gadgets in his hotel: he could not call out from his room in a 5-star hotel because the phone used a screen keypad and his finger kept hitting two buttons at a time. He also shared his annoyance with online airlines and how self-service, ticketing was unfriendly towards consumers.

Invariably, high technology pervades and invades our lives and psyches. Rarely, do we experience a no-PowerPoint presentation. Our reliance on such a digital, visual format knows no bounds. We are hooked on it – like a freely swimming fish caught on a hook with artificial bait.

What would happen if your notebook crashed, or the power supply ceases? What do you do? What do you do? (I was watching a re-run of Speed before I wrote this).

We are, essentially, screwed because technology fails us – as it has before. Our excuse: blame it on technology. It happens! We cannot afford such presentation SNAFUs if we are pitching a sale for our new, startup company or presenting to our senior managers.

Sometimes, traditional or old school methods (okay, Classic style) of presentation will do. Back it up with flipcharts, brochures, photographs, actual samples and ‘live demonstrations’. The pitchman at the department store shows off his competency – product knowledge, skillfulness and technical knowledge – by his entertaining style. The crowd he draws to his booth want to see, hear and feel the experience. They want to learn, be informed and be dazzled by his mesmerizing performance. It is like having a front-row seat in a Sell-A-Vision studio recording. Aim: Show them (successfully) what you told them you would do.

Present powerfully. Know your stuff well. Deliver your message in a clear and concise manner. Do it with KISS. Communicate to lead (minds and mindsets).


Victor Khoo said...

Hi Enrico,

Just wanted to drop a note that it has been a pleasure reading your blog.

A suggestion on the color scheme for the text. As I mainly read your blog from Google's RSS reader, the red and yellow colors don't contrast well with the default white background used by the reader. Guess the RSS feed doesn't transfer over the background color.. :(

Anyway, keep you the great work.


Enrico Varella said...

Thank you, Victor for your valuable feedback. I appreciate your involvement and participation in our Community of Practice (CoP).

I will consider using a better colour scheme for RSS subscribers. I will experiment with a palette of darker colours.

Feel free to let me know what you'd like to read or explore, Victor. Surprises in store in the weeks to come including video interviews. Cheers.