Saturday, 24 October 2009

Do you want me to listen or to read....?

I attended a couple of days training this week, delivered internally. It was an interesting course and I met some great people. However there was a consistent bug bear for me throughout the course in the way that Powerpoint slides were used.

The web is full of discussions and articles about how to use (or not use) supporting slides for presentations (my favourite site is Presentation Zen). My particular pet hate is when a person stands at the front of a room and feels that they must have a slide behind them full of lines of bullet points or with a diagram so complicated that it needs 20 minutes to explain! Why do I hate this?
  • My style of learning is quite auditory. I like to listen to people tell me something and I like to hear people discuss things so I can hear different points of view. Putting up a visual slide doesn't really do much for me and actually makes it more difficult for me to concentrate on what someone is saying.
  • Do you want me to listen to what the presenter is saying, read the slide or do both? If you put a slide up then I am going to try and read it. When I am doing this then I won't be listening properly to the presenter. If the slide is full of lots of text then it is going to take me a while to read it.
  • The slide should be something that complements the presentation - not something that works against it. Just show something very simple on the slide - perhaps a handful of words or a picture that reinforces what you are saying.
Rant over.......

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