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 Feature
9 June 2011 | Alim Ozcan Blog
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Getting Your Message Across Without Using PowerPoint
This week Alim looks at alternative methods that can be used when communicating a message to your target audience...

  Alim Ozcan

It has been a few months since I wrote my last blog but now that I have written this one, I plan to produce them on a more regular basis. This week’s blog is about communication. Specifically, it is about the creative options that could be utilised to present your message to a target audience, as the common method of using PowerPoint, without considering other communication mediums may be unproductive in some scenarios.

PowerPoint is of course a very good tool and does have a place, but I think that you will agree that most stakeholders/audiences expect to see PowerPoint slides, which can make other communication mediums even more powerful if introducing the element of surprise. For example, I was recently involved in facilitating the communication of an adapted ITIL framework to an audience of approximately 100 staff. The challenge that I set the presenters (Process Owners) was to communicate their key messages by putting on a scripted role-play. They took on this challenge and developed a 40-minute play that exceeded the audiences’ expectations.

The Process Owners deserve all of the credit as they were fantastic and executed it expertly. However, I think that we were on to a winner from the start by not using PowerPoint and I would suggest that the quality of the performance was not the defining factor. The key element was that we took a risk and presented the ITIL framework using a scenario that emphasised the Service Management processes and the Remedy system, in a manner that enabled visualisation by everyone as to what would be changing.

The feedback from the attendees was tremendous which has further cemented my thinking that PowerPoint has generally become an easy/lazy way of communicating messages, which leads me to suggest that alternative methods should be used instead to achieve the biggest impact. Examples of this could include a putting on a play, developing a song, playing a game, role-play scenarios and using social media.

I would welcome hearing from your experiences if you have used an alternative communication medium.

Feedback and comments are always welcome!

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8th July 2011

Hi Alim,
 
Comment on your recent blog post about PowerPoint - there are two things I do as an alternative:
 
1) Mind mapping software - the problem with PowerPoint is that it is linear, and in a dynamic conversation, I find that well structured mind maps are much better.
2) Whiteboard - clearly this is the one that many use - but sometimes you need a formal bit of software to help - see point 1
 
When I have to use powerpoint - I have a rule - 10/20/30 = 10 slides max, 20 minutes max and 30 point font minimum.

Cheers

Matt Smith

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22nd March 2012

Hi Alim,
 
Having just read your recent post about power point, I think you are totally correct. It is a lazy and to be honest extremely boring and tedious form of presentation. Having sat through my fair share of presentations and used power point on a variety of occasions it soon became a boring and dated form of presentation.
 
Recently, I have been using Prezi as my basis for building a new presentation deck. Its a fantastic tool and an excellent visual tool to keep your audience captivated!
 
Prezi.com 
 
Enjoy
 
Iain Borner

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