Death by Powerpoint

Johan Lennström, 42 years, 180cm, Avesta, no pets, wife, drives a Toyota Yaris, imagine a graph showing the annual growth of my success measured in how many acres of land I own, the graph is blue.

I guess I lost you somewhere around 180cm, or perhaps at Avesta…Perhaps at 42, anyhow, I lost you…

Imagine us meeting in a conference-room and the same text is shown through a powerpoint-presentation (PPP). You would have read, processed the information, concluded that you’re not interested and started thinking of what you’re going to eat for lunch, and this is all done in seconds… Before I start my presentation where I simply repeat the information you already discarded…

The human mind takes approximately 0.4 seconds to make up its mind and trigger a reaction. You know deja-vu? The feeling where you’re absolutely sure you’ve “been here before”, “seen that person before” or“already done that”, these are all impressions created from small fragments from different situations, which molds together as a memory or a truth in your mind. This is what happens when your audience get to stare at your PPP (or similar presentationsoftware) without your charismatic charm to put the information forward withyour own intentions embedded.

Once you unleash the information, make sure the recipient don’t get the chance to misunderstand or interpret it by her bias, make sure it is delivered with your biased touch from the beginning.

Worst case scenarios in no particular order:

  • Sending your PPP by mail
  • Letting your audience see the pp-page in advance
  • Reading the exact words the PPP says instead of passionately explaining

How to do it:

  • Let the PPP be a short list of index numbers which can’t be interpreted subjectively by the recipient
  • Let the PPP be a mood-enhancer rather than a encyclopedia, show a green forest rather than a graph that explains how green the forest is
  • Skip the PPP, bring out a pen and flipboard. – “ I’m competent enough to go old-school, and you my dear listeners are competent enough to understand what I’m about to say”.

The PPP is like a person, it takes up a lot of space and attention. Once the PPP starts, people won’t listen to you, they willlisten to and give full attention to the PPP. Just like a tv during dinner,doesn’t matter what’s on, you will give it attention no matter what.

Remember the 0.4 seconds… Keep remembering…

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