Powerpoint is dead, long live Powerpoint

PowerPoint is dead.
PowerPoint is really dead. It is being beaten to death by people who misuse it on a massive scale; it is a giant dirty security blanket for presenters across the globe.

So YES! PowerPoint is Oh So Dead!
I followed an excellent training by Ib Ravn on ‘Learning meetings and Conferences‘. Hello Ib! You are so right! Wake up people! A meeting should create ‘co flourishing’ between all participants. Presentations should be concise, allow for ‘active digestion’, lead to self-expression and sharing of knowledge. The cherry on the cake (and the real reason many people participate) is that presentations can help networking. So have a facilitator on board in meetings and congresses and make the meeting a happening all will remember!

Yet, bad PowerPoint rules! 300 Million people use PowerPoint in the world. 30 Million PowerPoint presentations are given every day. At least half are no good! Millions fly all around the globe to participate in one-way, boring PowerPoint presentations. Attendees are still treated like cows watching trains passing by. They are rendered passive, group work is unfocused and expert panels are only allowed to deliver ‘more talk from a podium’. Come to the Point, speaker, Generate Power. What did you learn? How did it move you? How will you change? The answer often is … “Wellaaaaaaah Iyaaaaaaaah…”

The best speakers simply do that. They speak. Focus is on them, they share ideas and implicate audiences. They move, they deal in passion. They do not need PowerPoint, because they are the power. They look their audience in the eye. One on one, even with 1000 in an auditorium. PowerPoint can be a good tool, when used to support this attitude and style. When it is clear and direct, when it allows the speaker to be even stronger. Philosophy is boring? Think again!

Interact and bring the Power back to PowerPoint
Brows around on Slideshare and see what you like… Like Alexei Kapterev, explaining what good PowerPoint presentations are. And think on how to interact with your audience. And why not, give us a call and let’s bring your Powerpoint alive together! Then we can say in chorus, “long live PowerPoint!

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What’s your one sentence idea?

When starting a novel, approaching someone at a reception, presenting an idea in front of a group… famous first words do make a difference.
“This is where the buck stops”. “Don’t ask what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”. “Make my day”.

We are all storytellers. The story of our life, our family, our work and our dreams become tangible in the stories we tell.
When you want to convince someone, or when you simply want them to pay attention and become interested in what you say, it is crucial to have your key sentence right.

I once was presented as the new manager of an international fair that was heavily criticized. Some even wanted the event to be canceled. The room was packed with the top players from the sector The atmosphere was polite but tense. I started by saying my name, and after a few introduction words on where I came from, I stopped in mid sentence, took a pause to gather my thoughts and  said “My son just started first grade. When the teacher asked him what I did as a job he said ‘Daddy makes’. Not ‘Daddy makes things’. Just Daddy makes. That’s what I’m here to do. So let’s get to work.”

It was the bold but right thing to say. It had the right tone and content. It showed strength and commitment and the wish to act together as a team. It surprised them all as well. Some of the men in that room now have become my friends. Some I see every now and then and there is no tension left. The event became a success; we worked together to get there. They all felt that I was not there to exploit them, to lie to them or to just do something or other. I was there to make. They remember this moment up to this day.

What is your favorite first phrase from a book? here’s mine:

Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice. – Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967; trans. Gregory Rabassa)

An inspiring top 100 is here. And here are some new original first phrases, to get you going, perhaps.

7 steps to deliver what the client wants

What was it again that the client wanted?


It seems the most obvious question of every project. But is it? If you’re building a bridge or a tunnel, a website or an event, a translation or a swing in a playground, there are logical steps you need to follow to reach the right result. Everybody knows this. Or not? Again and again, these steps are not respected.

1. Make sure you talk to the right client
Will the person you talk to have the power to decide on the project?
Who decides on strategy? Objectives? Budgets? Timing? Just don’t start running unless you know where you are running. 

2. Set the scene, define the agenda
Even a simple meeting deserves a clear agenda. Confirm the steps you want to follow in the meeting, to create the best information exchange.
Make sure you have enough time to cover the topics. Leave time for a conclusion and ‘next steps’.

3.  Really Listen
Communication starts with listening. Really listening. Leave space for silences; ask questions that clarify what the client wants. Use examples if they help. But don’t get swamped in the sea of boasting on previous success stories. Think in future results.

4. Confirm and be frank about it
Always confirm what you think you heard. And translate it in clear conclusions. The goal is to know who has to do what by when, who will be involved and how much it can cost.

5. Confirm again, in writing
Even in telegram style, make sure you confirm what was agreed. Do not count on it that the client actually reads your confirmation. Make sure all is understood. And accepted.

6. Share with your team
If others are involved in the process, it is deadly to start off without all heads turned in the same direction. Make sure the technical and ’emotional side’ of the project are clear to all. Often, in theory all know what it is about, but cultural and language differences make that in the real world not everyone is “in synch”.

7. Fine-tune, adapt, reconfirm
Even when all goes well, make sure to give frequent updates on the status of your activity.

Although this is basic class 101 material, these 7 steps are neglected too often. Costing a loss of energy and money beyond imagination.
Not with us, dear reader! Not in our backyard! On time and above expectation start here, today and in the seven steps!