Every night I try to get home in time to read my daughter a bed time story. Currently her favourite is Cinderella. The story is short, it could easily be fit onto one sheet of A4 paper (the plot in Wikipedia is just under 800 words). I could even decompose it down to a number of bullet points to fit into a couple pf PowerPoint slides. Somehow I doubt this would engage my daughter. I read Cinderella from a picture book. There are only a few words on each page, I read those whilst she looks at the illustrations. It is from these pictures that her imagination is fired. They bring my words of princesses and castles and fairy godmothers and balls to life.
Similarly when building new propositions, I’m much more interested in drawing pictures that articulate the user journey story. But this blog entry is not so much about pictures to articulate the process of building products. It’s about PowerPoint.
I have a bit of reputation as a PowerPoint monkey. Whilst our developers build code, I spend a lot of time building presentations on how they will do it. All to often I see slides that have been crammed full of words. There is often an unwritten rule that considers 20 slides to be a maximum number in a presentation. The rationale? An hour long presentation, say three minutes per slide and pow! Time up!
First slide title “Background”. A dozen bullet points on the history of the project.
This is like telling Cinderella from an A4 sheet.
I’ve been inspired by the Lessing method; tearing up the 20 slide convention. A PowerPoint presentation should be like telling a story. Just like the picture book of Cinderella engages my daughter and her imagination with pictures, the words being a cue for the narrative, so a successful presentation should have a narrative, supported by images and carefully chosen points. And if that means a slide deck with 100 slides so be it. Take a look at Dick Hardt doing this for real. Awesome!