Should I Use “Proper Powerpoint”?

I’m in a dilemma. Should I use “proper Powerpoint” for my Virtual Team Building talk at Agile By Example tomorrow?

I was pretty determined to do so, changing my strong preference for flipchart-only.

It seemed like a no-brainer: I’m talking about metaphor, and using visuals; these Agile enthusiasts are passionate about visualising everything; therefore I should add lots of shiny on-screen pictures to the mix.

It’s likely to be a big group, maybe up to 200: at the very least there needs to be a couple of slides with activity instructions. So I thought I might as well go the whole hog, and spent ages sourcing pictures.

I did a test run at a workshop in Birmingham last week and it seemed to go OK. I even bought myself a clicker.

Here’s what I used at my pre-conference workshop in Warsaw yesterday:

But then, stuff happened.
  • At Lean Agile Scotland last week there were a few people who didn’t use Powerpoint. They seemed to be regarded as brave and avant-garde. Why would I be going the other way?
  • I got a new gadget! I can now draw to the projector screen as easily as I would on a flip chart, or project previously hand-drawn slides. (See slide 18 above).
  • Halfway through yesterday’s workshop, Powerpoint on my laptop froze solid. It seems to be making a habit of that, and I don’t know why. Maybe it’s all the big images!

I could easily switch to the new gadget, and go all hand-drawn. Is that me being lazy, or sensible?

Update: Thursday

So, here’s what I ended up with:

It seemed to work! Many thanks for your help, everyone.

6 thoughts on “Should I Use “Proper Powerpoint”?”

  1. Hi Judy for 200 exercise instructions are going to be really useful and your visuals are great nobrainer, for smaller groups yes just you being you.
    Interested in what that new toy is you mentioned so you can draw direct on screen?
    Wishing you continued success I know ‘you’ don’t need luck for your presentation

  2. I love the hand-drawn slides! Using graphics in this way is so engaging and gives you the chance to work with emerging metaphors in a way that pre-prepared slides never could. There’s actually a big crossover between the skills needed for graphic recording or facilitation and those needed for using clean language.

  3. Sharon Small

    This is fantastic Judy. Love seeing the ‘gadget’ in action! I am a flip chart girl and it is so fun knowing that there is something now that works as easily as that for larger groups, online and live.

    Your posts are always so inspiring and loving the way you introduce Clean to others!

  4. Brian McKinney

    I was going to suggest that the most effective PowerPoint would be Improper PowerPoint; since you have discovered the iPad, I will not dwell on that. PowerPoint can be effective. Many presentations I’ve seen crowd too much information on a slide and too many slides in a presentation. Clearly you’re not one of those people. This is probably not an inherent flaw in
    PP, although the frequency of its occurrence makes me wonder.
    The true disadvantage I find in PP is that it tends to look stiff, manufactured, formal, mass-produced, impersonal. The slides are almost always laid out in straight lines, the print may vary in size but rarely in font, it’s difficult to give PP any sense of freedom and creativity. I usually have the sense, in PP presentations, that if I do my part, I will be experted by an experter,so that I will be an expert when it’s over. It’s almost impossible to develop any role for the speaker but what my friend Paul Scheele calls “the sage on the stage” rather than “the guide on the side.” (I don’t know this to be original with Paul that’s where I heard it first.) And yet, it seems to me, it is the latter role you want to play when helping people learn how to use clean language, metaphor, team-building, facilitation, and all the things you do.
    The iPad/pencil, by contrast, is immediately personal, individualized. It’s not stiff or mass produced, but rather a free-flowing, Individual work. It’s yours, and it invites others in. Hmmm. Seems to go back to McLuhan’s hot and cool media. Stay with the cool.

  5. Thanks guys! @Brian I didn’t know you were a friend of Paul’s. I think he used to know David Grove quite well, years ago, when they both did NLP training together. There’d be some great stories to collect if you happened to have an opportunity!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *