Presentations are an integral part of the business world's communication process. A recent learning session at work revealed just how advanced this process has become.
In the past, there was the meeting room, overhead projector, speaker and the local attendees. Presentations were used to share information, and quickly, to avoid staring too long at the shoddy image on the white board. PowerPoint was introduced, and so was color, depth and information overload. This method gave speakers leeway to show off their creativity, technological prowess while implicitly encouraging oversharing. Those overbearing 40-slide presentations of yesteryears still linger in my memory.
Advances in technology have changed the playing field and the emphasis now is on engaging your audience. No longer are those involved merely interested in the speaker's message. More importantly, it is how successful that message is communicated.
Presentations are now delivered through live webcasts and teleconferences held with huge screens, smartboards and precise cameras that re-create personal interactions on a global level. Colleagues working at any two points on various sides of the world can share ideas and strategies with relative ease. Communication has become more risky, because we're trying to relate to different cultures. Once again, the manner in which we present has changed - only much more dramatically. We can no longer hide behind a mechanism or vivid, interactive slides, speaking to like-minded individuals. We are up front and center, vigilantly watched, monitored and judged as to how well we pitch our ideas to the entire world.
We can all use some advice on how to get our message across. I came across this brief video by communication expert Nancy Duarte. The clip is less than two minutes long and summarizes Ms. Duarte's advice in three simple steps. She has an e-book for purchase that expands on these tips and comes with a 20 minute video. Visit HBR.org to learn more.