Publications & Products
Volume 2, Issue 41

Make Presentations Shorter and More Interactive

The era of the PowerPoint presentation is over, says one entrepreneur who notes that today's audiences don't respond to one-sided lectures.

"No one wants to sit in a business meeting and listen to someone lecturing at length, accompanied by a series of slides," writes Luke Johnson, chairman of a London-based private equity firm, in the April issue of Management Today. "Perhaps people never did. This generation demands interaction and participation."

Johnson writes that presentations using programs like PowerPoint are often too technical to understand—as speaker and audience must constantly refer back to detailed documentation on slides—and full of clichés. When he is approached to give speeches, Johnson tells organizers that he prefers to speak for at most 10 minutes followed by a lengthy, interactive question-and-answer period with the audience. The ideal presentation, according to Johnson, resembles a TED talk—an academic conference series in which speakers are given a limited amount of time to address their topic.

"There are advantages to this new model of public speaking," Johnson says."It means audiences have to work harder—they cannot just sit back and doze. It is far more democratic. And speakers cannot minutely prepare their script—because they will be asked unexpected questions and will have to provide unrehearsed answers."

This article is from the April 22, 2013 issue.

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Conference on Diverse Philanthropy and Leadership
June 6 - 7, 2013
Atlanta, Ga., United States

This conference will concentrate on emerging philanthropic markets in advancement, minority buying power, philanthropic behaviors, diverse engagement and donor expectations. It will also feature a programmatic track on management, leadership and mentoring of advancement professionals of diverse backgrounds.