People just can’t ppt, wtf!

Hey Kalle,

I just realized – people at my work suck at Powerpoint! Great ideas gets lost in there. You know that sinking feeling when they switch slides and you see 12 bullets with more than 300 total words staring back at you? I get it all the time. It’s a shame, because most of my colleagues have great ideas in there, but I lose interest when they start semi-reading from each slide, especially since I’ve already glanced at their text block and gleaned the gist of it ages ago.

I think the skills to visualize your ideas should actually be something that you practice if you have a job that require communication. And what job doesn’t in our part of the business? I’m no Powerpoint star, but I just reduce my slides to have less than about 10 words (one concept usually) on each, add a couple of pictures or illustrations that I picture-Google for (with clever use of keywords like “icon” and the size selectors) and doing this I get noticably more attention for my presentations and ideas – a bit undeserved just because I can structure my ideas into ppt.

What would happen if I really got into sketching and drawing and invested some time getting better at that instead of getting better at my main skill set – web tech, managing, coding etc? Did you ever see Tobias’s scribbling notes during meetings at Lavasoft? F-ing pieces of art! Illustrations, typography, composition – omg. You could scan those things and illustrate your point so much better – and better yet, inspire!

There is a whole movement behind this idea, and actually even professional people acting as graphic note-takers now(!). I know, crazy right, but check this out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ID0Nwxyl5eY&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efCiPNjEC0I

(Also, this might be one of the best book ads ever:)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMCVkyRHbjk

Why not think of visualization (and presentation) skills as a multiplier to your message or idea – regardless if your idea is grand or tiny, a good multiplier can only help in making people understand it better, right?

See you tonight,

Mattias

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One thought on “People just can’t ppt, wtf!

  1. This is so awesome and so very interesting, I love this stuff! Feel like stopping everything and just get consumed by the whole art of visual communication :).

    As you know I’ve been doing some design lately and even been a little bit involved in corporate identity design. I’m not very skilled yet but I have been loving it, I think probably because it allows me to work with the exact things you are describing: trying to visually communicate information as effective, concise, interesting and accurate as possible and make it an pleasant and beautiful experience all at the same time. (That was a lot of adjectives, the one right would probably have done the job).

    Doesn’t this have the same essence as usability and user experience? It is all about [insert that missing adjective here] communication.

    Communication, visualization, presentation, interaction… — CONFUSION!

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