Polar bears are taking swimming lessons. Houses are on stilts. Yet politicians still say climate change is a hoax and it is someone else that’s wrecking the environment.
In business, we all know the phrase “Death by PowerPoint”. We sit through endless mind-numbing presentations. And yet most business people still just make a deck of slides with (mostly) words on them and spend less time rehearsing important presentations than they do checking prices on Amazon.
Why do so many executives keep creating Death by PowerPoint and thinking “Oh – it’s not me doing that. It’s all the other presenters that are bad”.
But maybe it’s not them. Maybe it’s us.
Let’s find out, Here are some self-evaluation questions you may want to ask yourself. Mentally check the ones that apply to you and your style:
1) How do you prepare your presentations?
A) I start with the outcome – what I want them thinking, feeling, and remembering.
B) I write an outline, then add stories, visuals, and other media to make it interesting.
C) I get a slide deck off a server. This is not about engagement, it is about information.
D) Other people make my presentations. I was hired to think, not talk.
E) I go to my place of worship and ask for help.
2) How do you rehearse?
A) I rehearse in front of a mirror and sometimes video it for review.
B) I practice the presentation to as many people as possible and ask for feedback.
C) I ask my husband/wife/dog what they think. My dog says I am better than Obama.
D) I rehearse on the plane to whomever is sitting beside me.
E) I know this content. I don’t need to rehearse.
3) What do you usually see and hear when you looked at the audience?
A) People leaning in to listen with eyes wide open
B) Lots of laughter and tears at the funny and emotional stories. Applause throughout.
C) People on their phones. They must be Tweeting about how good I am.
D) People on their phones doing email.
E) A lot of people leaving, probably to get a good seat at the next breakout session
4) What was the reaction to your last presentation?
A) A standing ovation
B) People lined up to speak with you afterwards
C) Polite applause
D) The MC saying “OK, our next speaker is…”
E) They paid for my parking so it must have been great.
5) How do you analyze your presentations?
A) I ask audience members what they liked and did not like.
B) I get video of myself and review them to make changes.
C) I watch TED Talks and other presentations online to learn from the best.
D) I ask my EA how I did.
E) I ask my dog how I did. See 2C above.
6) If you gave your last presentation to a room of high school or college kids, what would they say?
A) That was sick!
B) I want to work there
C) It was not as bad as I expected
D) OMG that was so bad
E) I don’t know – I was on Instagram
If you didn’t get all As or Bs, you might be the problem, not the solution.
The polar bears are looking for ice.
Audiences are looking for presentations that engage them.
We’re happy to help you and the bears!