Chapter 5. Presentation without PowerPoint: Simple Drawings & Graphic Templates

Presentation software, led by the omnipresent PowerPoint, has supported the explosion of visualization in business. "Slides" are almost a required tool for communications in many organizations. People plan with them, sell with them, present with them, and e-mail them to one another all over the world. The easy-to-use graphic tools in presentation software have invited legions of users into visual thinking and visual presentation. And it has led them into some very serious traps if you want truly engaged meetings.

One of the best books on how to use this kind of software is Nancy Duarte's Slideology. Nancy designed Al Gore's slide show on global warming. Her company does work for dozens and dozens of the best companies in Silicon Valley. She knows this medium. And bottom line in her advice is to use its power of imagery and simple support for powerful storytelling. Done well, visual presentations in this medium are unmatched in stimulating the imagination of audiences.

PowerPoint Is Push, Not Pull

For all its virtues and flexibility, presentation software in the hands of most people is not a good medium for deeply engaging people, for at root it is a "push" medium. What do I mean by this? In The Grove's facilitation training one of the key principles we teach is having people who lead meetings understand the energy dynamics of groups—they way they move and what motivates people to get involved or pull ...

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