The Perils of PowerPoint – Why It’s Time for Reboot

“To mark the occasion of his 30th birthday, serial entrepreneur and occasional Harvard spammer Ryan Allis decided to give back to the world that had been so generous to him. So, he made a PowerPoint…a 1,284 slide PowerPoint titled “Lessons from My 20s.”

 

1,284 slides.  One-thousand, two-hundred, eighty-four slides.  (While we congratulate Allis on his birthday and herculean exercise in self-reflection, we can’t help but congratulate ourselves for not being trapped in his conference room.)  Yes, this is an extreme example.  But haven’t we all created multi-hour presentations featuring 40+ bulleted, image-free slides?

 

Crammed with content, they’re repetitive, uninteresting and do little to engage collaborative dialogue. And if you consider that the average human attention span is 8 seconds (down from 12 seconds in the year 2000), ask yourself just how many of those slides hit your client’s collective consciousness?  Instead, wouldn’t it be ideal to engage your audience, not anesthetize them?

 

OLD vs NEW, part 1

PowerPoint is a great tool.  There are more than 500 million PowerPoint users worldwide.  BUT, the fact that there are so many millions of PowerPoint users reminds us that staying unique is a real challenge.  And when you’re competing with dozens of other consultants for the same client project, wouldn’t it be ideal to showcase your pitch with the same tool you’ll use to deploy the client’s project?

 

OLD vs NEW, part 2

Since its launch in 1987 (wasn’t Reagan still in office?), we’ve seen an entirely new generation enter the workforce.  By 2030, millennials will comprise a whopping 75 percent of the workforce.  So, we think it’ll be the smart consultant who communicates with this “new” generation using fresh ideas and innovative technologies.

 

PASSIVE vs ACTIVE

There’s a presenter and a viewer.   Passivity is inherent in this equation.  If your goal is to generate interest, commentary and collaboration – especially with digital natives – then perhaps PowerPoint is not your best option.  As a presenter, many rely on the information on the slide instead of providing a learning narrative or lively two-way dialogue.

 

ISN’T IT IRONIC

Your job as a consultant is to help your client achieve their business goals.  Whether its spearheading a digital transformation project or launching an enterprise app deployment, your clients expect a certain level of technological expertise.  So, isn’t it counter intuitive to tout your innovative solutions and cutting-edge technology on PowerPoint slide 54?

 

But to lead your clients into any enterprise digital transformation effort, you need to walk the walk. And let’s not forget that as a consultant, differentiators are often the key to winning the deal.  That’s why we recommend Digital Engagement – tools and approaches that stake a claim to leadership and innovation.  Use ThinkTank Engage to digitize and standardize delivery methodologies for repeatable, high quality client engagements with higher margins.