Misguided Presentations

I attended a conference that featured a consultant from a distinguished research institute. His speaking slot was right after a big lunch when the whole room of 500 people were naturally feeling a little drowsy.

Let’s call him Lars.

The first thing Lars does is turn off all the lights. The place is plunged into darkness.

Big mistake.

Then he turns on an image projector that hums like a bunch of bees.

Time for a nap.

Next he throws up a barrage of data-rich slides (org charts, tables, lists, maps, financial statements, diagrams, etc.) all overlapping and converging. Not one is decipherable or readable even from the first row.

Now, to make things even worse, Lars is pacing around in the light. Numbers, lines, cryptic symbols, tiny schematics, arrows and random words are crawling all over his face and body.

Now there’s another droning sound – people snoring.


The Consequences of Poor Presentation Techniques

After an agonizing hour (for those of us who had managed to stay awake) it was finally over, but none of us could pass a quiz on what he’d said.

The whole thing was a total waste of time.

Note to Lars:

What good is all your expertise, experience, and intelligence if nobody can understand what you’re trying to say?

Remedy: know your assignment. In this case, leave the lights on, stay out of the light, make your visuals easy to read and understand, and venture no further than forty minutes.

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