Adonis Diaries

Efficient PowerPoint presentation: And no bullet points?

Posted on: October 23, 2011

Efficient PowerPoint presentation: And no bullet points?

Why do we have to “atomize” a task to its basic elements, if we are ultimately bound to resurrect the task as a whole entity? For example, let us consider the general method of Seth Godin, a remnant of what is used to be labelled Task Analysis in the 80’s for breaking down tasks and allocating what are satisfactory to man and what are more advantageous to relegate to automation.

Seth posted his method for creating a  PowerPoint presentation without using the useless and unnerving bullet points.  Here it goes:

“The typical person speaks 10 or 12 sentences a minute.  The atomic method requires to create a slide for each sentence. For a five-minute talk, that’s 50 slides.

Each slide must have either a single word, a single image or a single idea.  Make all 50 slides.

Force yourself to break each concept into the smallest possible atom. If it’s not worthy of a slide, don’t say it.

Once you have 50 slides, do the talk in practice. Remove slides and sentences that add no value or don’t move you forward.

Now (and only now), start consolidating slides. If two or three or four slides work together as one, then go ahead and make them one. You’ve got molecules now, not atoms.

At this point, you can either get rid of slides altogether, keep them as is or lump them one more time into bigger ideas.” End of quote.

Have you been asked to submit a  PowerPoint presentation? This is the main job of high ranked military officers, and chairmen of corporations…If they did the job themselves, instead of relegating it to subordinates, maybe the salary is worth the undertaking.

“Atomizing” a talk, a presentation, a political speech, a scientific concept, a research proposal…is an excellent exercise and worth the time and effort invested. The trick is to doing it once, alone, whatever time it might take, diligently, stubbornly. Just once: You have demonstrated that you have the potential to be a Hard Working individual, and you proved it to yourself.  Trying to arrange your thought in a rational system is hard work and a process required from productive and smart employees…Remember: Imagination is a byproduct of smart, hard working habits, with the ability of resolving problems from diverse perspectives and angles…

I suggest that, after reconstructing your talk from the various elements, hide the talk in a drawer for a couple of days, try to forget that you have written a “rational” paper…After a few days, rewrite the speech from scratch: Don’t cheat and take a peek at the rational work.  What you have missed is not within your conviction and you will not apply it, and you don’t believe in it…

People strongest advantage over automated machines and algorithms is that they are very sensitive to faked talks and presentations…You cannot inspire and convince if you include parts that do not describe your strongest passions, your sincerest potentials, and willingness to apply what you disseminated.

I dare you and challenge you to brake down your job into basic elements, at least once, and then rearrange it into a tight meaningful resurrected job.  Remember: A few redundancies are necessary for the main idea to be absorbed: Here is imagination at work, putting yourself in the “audience skin”…

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October 2011

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