IT Employment

Want to have better meetings? Ditch PowerPoint

For some, a PowerPoint presentation causes them to automatically tune out. Here's what to do in your meetings instead.

I know, I know. Recommending that people ditch PowerPoint is like telling a toddler he doesn't need his blankie.

When the lights are dimmed and the projector starts humming, a good many human brains involuntarily start to atrophy. Well, at least mine does. I'm sorry, but for some of us even the occasional animation can't keep us engaged. This is especially true because so many people use PowerPoint poorly -- they'll put up a slide and then proceed to read it to the crowd, include much too much text on each slide, or use charts and graphs that are so complicated they're meaningless.

I find that my preference is always to just engage in a directed conversation with the people in the meeting and then save a PowerPoint or any other prepared presentation to read later at my leisure.

My feeling is that PowerPoint is of itself a monologue. While that is necessary for Presidential addresses and 101-level classes in college, it's not the most meaningful way to interact within a group or to solve problems. (And even in Presidential addresses, the more interesting stuff comes at the end when the reporters get to ask questions.)

So here are my suggestions instead:

Meet face to face

If possible, make it so that your meeting attendees can face each other. This makes conversation much easier. You don't want one guy updating everyone on his department, followed by the next guy, and the next guy. You want interaction between the people, not one monologue followed by another.

Ask questions

As a meeting leader, you should be familiar enough with all the processes represented by the people in the meeting so that you can guide the conversation with some well-placed questions. For example, "What stumbling blocks did you face in that project?" or "What data would help you make the decision you're facing?" The point is to illustrate the interdependency of all factions of a company. People tend to silo themselves off from the big company picture, and this helps everyone see how their actions affect others.

Watch the tangents

Worse than a prepared PowerPoint presentation is a conversation that goes off on a long tangent. We've all been in those meetings where a discussion about a schedule ends up turning into somebody's description of a past vacation. Don't be afraid to gently admonish those meeting participants who can't stay on task.

I understand it's hard for people to give up PowerPoint as their meeting staple, especially just when they've nailed that zoom-out animation. But it's more important for meeting participants to engage with each other.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

64 comments
darkwngduck
darkwngduck

I don't think that acknowledging Powerpoint's detrimental effects on a meeting is "blaming the tool". Rather it is being honest about human tendencies. If we all were honest, while they are necessary, meetings suck. But a Powerpoint-featured meeting makes the meeting somewhat bearable at least. When I see a presentation going up, I usually think "cool, I can chill for a few minutes and just watch". Granted, I know to sit up and be attentive and respectful to the presenter; and usually I do. But if I or anyone else want to, there's the option to just zone out, because we're not the ones presenting. Then there's the point of when you get sleepy as you listen intently. You tart the mask yawns and end up faking that you're really listening still. Don't get me wrong I think Powerpoint is great, and I love using it. I just can't agree that face to face talking is something better and harder to opt out of. So perhaps Power Point is a blessing and a curse

SammJeffries
SammJeffries

I have to agree with DAS01 'Good Presentations' when commenting on the lights out portion of powerpoint (or any other) presentation. Even the most java-upped executives feel the burn of the nod under those conditions, which is why I never turn out the lights. Slides should be used as props, and the speaker should be the one keeping the content real, including engaging the viewers with interactive queries throughout the 'show.' If you're truly prepared for a presentation, you're the one carrying the weight, not the slides. It's the slide's job to just hang there and look good.

stgcs(sw)
stgcs(sw)

PowerPoint is only as good as the presentation developer and the persenter. If you are using PowerPoint to augment and enhance your presentation it is great. If you are using PowerPoint as a crutch to help hide your own failings in presentation skills, then PowerPoint becomes the fall guy and the weak presenter blames the tool for their own weakness.

krisall515
krisall515

I agree somewhat. There's been significant research that shows that learning comprehension dramatically decreases when we see and hear words simultaneously. In other words, reading text on the screen means that your audience (a) zones out because they've already read what you're saying and (b) won't remember it later. Instead, using PPT to provide information that augments rather than replaces your awesome speech is a much better application of this powerful tool.

MC_User
MC_User

While studying for my degree I had to do a presentation with three others students. We had spent days working out who would cover what and then working and reworking all of our PowerPoint slides. The night of the class, ten minutes before presentation, I fired up my laptop to be greeted by a lovely blue screen. Our instructor was considerate and allowed us to present last that evening. But present we must. In the hallway we went over our notes. We reworked and reassessed some material and figured out how to back up one another while the others talked. When we went on I showed my blue screen to the rest of the class saying; "We had a wonderful, concise and informative slide show ready for you today. Please remember that while we draw on the chalkboard." While one person lectured, the others wrote notes on the board emphasizing important points or drawing diagrams to illustrate a point. We deferred to each other on some particulars when we knew the other had more knowledge on the subject. We kept on point using an outline we made while in the hallway. We received a great grade because we were able to convey our message and showed an understating of the subject matter.

raymondh3201
raymondh3201

What a work wasting tool that sucks the life out of the employee's who are stuck making the pretty little slides. THE BALLAD OF THE POWER POINT RANGER THE BALLAD OF THE POWER POINT RANGER (sung to the tune of "The Green Beret") Requests are made from day to day; Briefings held and changes made. Graphic slides, a must they say, Power Point is the only way. Computers crash and printers stall, Overloading protocol. Network's down and soldiers cry Briefing's late, so heads will fly. Pin Power Point slides upon my chest, Full color slides, they look the best 100 slides were made that day but only 10 made the final display. Smiles upon the General's face Slides were done, looked really great Was up all night really working late, Just to hear the General say .... My soldier son, your slides were great, Briefing's done, staff's up to date, One problem son, you took too long, So put in one more change, then go on home. So tell my Mom I done my best, Pin Power Point slides upon my chest 100 slides were made that day, but only 10 made the final display.

dcavanaugh
dcavanaugh

The other have is how it is used. Poor presenters will simply stand in front of a group and read their poorly-prepared slides. I have seen this so many times, I am turned off as soon as I see a PowerPoint slide. Of all the aging MS Office applications, PowerPoint is showing its age most of all. Humans CAN make effective PowerPoint presentations, but it requires more work than drag-and-drop from a word processor or web browser. I get better results using Keynote on a Mac. At a minimum, it forces the audience to think "Hey! This is NOT PowerPoint!". That only carries me for the first 30 seconds, but it gives me a window of opportunity to introduce my topic before the "PowerPoint siesta" begins. For a collaborative discussion, ditch the presentations altogether and proceed to a smart board or a low-tech whiteboard.

carbonman
carbonman

I do a number of presentations every year and PowerPoint helps me keep on track while it gives the audience a handle on the direction each segment comes from and is heading toward. The trick is to keep it to points on the screen and expound on the points from notes or (better yet) your own organized knowledge of the subject in your head.

DPeek
DPeek

The whole premise of this article was that most people use PowerPoint poorly. I've worked in the US and Japan and the Americans do not corner the market on poor presentations. 1) Simplify slides 2) PLEASE preview them from a projector. Blue text on a black background might look Tron-chic on your monitor, but projected on a screen, you'll just have mush. 3) Engage the audience. If you read to them in a dark room, they will go to sleep. Stop hiding behind the podium. Move. Speak naturally with motion. you dont have to be manic as Howard Dean, but neither do you have to be a zombie. Use the tool properly.

gghermosilla
gghermosilla

I agree that you don't blame it to the tool but it is on the person presiding the meeting itself. The tool is only used for a presentation like if you need to show to the people especially the figures. The person presiding the meeting should make your meeting interactive and you can even do it even your using the tool.

PatrickEMcLean
PatrickEMcLean

I'm not sure anything changes if you take away the slides. It's hard to flesh out a big idea in a conversation with a group of people. Giving some one a formal time to present the entirety of their thought, facilitates more vigorous and productive conversation. The real problem is the argument behind the slides. Not having a point, or not delivering it in clear, logical, persuasive fashion is the real problem. Before they are designed, presentations must be written. http://www.goodwordsrightorder.com/?p=1244 It's just easier to get upset at the tool than at the presenter. "These arrows are useless. They always miss."

Systems Guy
Systems Guy

I think few people really and truelly know how to use PowerPoint, when creating the presentation and actually presenting it. And more so when they present it. Seems the presenter fumbles through the presentation. However, I don't know if this is lack of prepardness on the presenters part or the PP creator doesn't effectively make the PP flow. And, of course, these comments don't apply to every presenter but a large percentage of them. So, is it PP or something else? I don't use PP for presentations for the above reasons.

tarcatools
tarcatools

Toni, I think you have missed the real value of tools. For example, some 15 years ago I was asked to train two sets of 25 folks in a range of complex technology in one day in La Gaude, France. The audience was multi-cultural in they were from all over Europe. In the bar, the night before, my competitors (other chip companies) were somewhat boasting about the number of slides they had, both were in the 100's. They asked me how many I had, my reply 1 (one, in case you think its a mistype). Now, that one slide that I used twice in the day, once in each session, took me hours to create. Far more hours than simply putting Features, Benefits, Advantage lists and pages of products. To capture what I wanted them to know, how I would get them to understand it so they can repeat it to their customers took hours. The one slide showed just pictures, only a few pictures, but it outlined a scenario of inter-related equipment that had various demands on the product. For example the hand held device need low power, the networked device need a network interface, and so on. The week before I had met a team of 10, the facilitators, and I asked them to familiarise themselves with a range of documents and white papers. On the day, I divided the 25 in 5x5 with one of the 5 being a facilitator and then set each group the task of putting a presentation together to share their implementation and the reasons why they made certain choices. They all had a pile of reference documentation on each desk to provide the product set to choose from. At the end of each session we had 5x 20 minutes question and answer sessions with the whole room on what the teams had made. So, 6-slides per session, 11-slides for the whole day and 10 of those built by the audience. yes, we could have used white boards, but this way everyone had a hard copy of the activity and had actually thought through the whole session. Its not the tool, is the tools user that needs to think how to build discussions with the audience that have them engaged. In the above example the huge range of languages and cultural differences needs something like PowerPoint to address the Honey & Mumford learning styles in the room. So, don't knock the tool, educate the user. Dave

Internet Joe
Internet Joe

I have found that if you just put the title on a slide then leave the points all blank it keeps the presentation on target and as the interaction takes place with the audience the presenter can easily type in the most relevant points on the power point. When you talk about it and then they see you type it onto the slide it seems the audience will retain more of the conversation. If you want you can then save the presentation to make it available to everyone.

lonesebengtson
lonesebengtson

The pros and cons stated are all, of course, valid. We all have the experience. Further to this, I generally prepare a PowerPoint show and let it run while everyone is waiting for the session to begin. The content is directly related to the agenda that had been sent out. It occupies the audience whether they're in the session or remote via Webinar. The PPS stops when the session begins, sans PowerPoint. The PPS is sent to the attendees after the meeting, updated with any additional points made during the meeting/training.

ncreasey
ncreasey

Prezi is a flash based presentation tool with zoom and pan ability. Very agile - take your presentation in any direction (as long as you know your content). Free to use if you want to leave your content accessible on line. Have a look at one of mine online. Step through the planned presentation or just click anywhere in the picture to go to content related to that area. http://prezi.com/wdzmdjd1skdj/pmo-to-epm/

g01d4
g01d4

And other printed content should be delivered before the meeting, allowing those interested to study the material and ask more focused questions. Saves time during the meeting as either the material can be covered more quickly or even skipped jumping directly to questions. Those less intestered generally spend less time.

billballew
billballew

Toni's description is good for a staff meeting where no training or detail investigations are required. Toni, meetings diverge because there is no good thread or agenda - not because there is a Power Point! Power points are used to teach and inform. The "101 Level Class" is plebeanly misleading. Again - Toni, Most Power Point presentations ARE "101 Level Class". Majority of people in business are 101 level! An example I've been in is " Elementary Quantum Physics" Do this one face to face without a blackboard/whiteboard or at least something to demonstrate your points! Power Points make good handouts with the notes printout. Sorry Toni that you do not understand presentations, training and the difference between conveying information and a meeting that is just a party! In closing, I've seen this type writeup several places and they are all mislead. However, it must be a good business to spin out something useful and argue against it. Maybe I should clean out and oil up my old manual typewriter?

premiertechnologist
premiertechnologist

Make a PDF instead and ditch the meeting. Imbed You-Tube videos as part of it. Include colorful diagrams. Use Information Mapping. Put the PDF into Flipping Book. Provide either an email address, or better yet, some kind of form associated with FAQs. You can also use an interface for SitePal avatars. If you are going to have a meeting (why?), plan it to have multimedia presentations. Well, OK, there's a bit of sarcasm and irony to this, but a boss early in my career told me, "If you want to be productive, stay out of meetings". If you absolutely must have a meeting, decide on which kind it is -- status, decision, etc -- and stick to it. For staff meetings, have the staff chime in for topics and put them up on the white board and cross them off as you address them in order. In my professional opinion and experience, Managers and Directors are addicted to meetings and simply don't know how to conduct business any other way, even when it makes no sense at all. While it is true that concensus does produce better results (and when do managers ever seek to find concensus these days?), it is probably better to have the workers hash things out (with a manager listening in), rather than holding the narcissistic monologue. Businessess seem to have forgotten that the role of the management is to provide resources for the workers to do their work -- certainly dysfunctional ones have. Before using a Powerpoint presentation, ask yourself the question, "Is the effort worth it?". It might just be better to move into the 21st Century.

tnpich
tnpich

I agree that PowerPoint is sometimes misused with poorly prepared slides and overly long presentations. I think the the alternatives your presenting are not when PowerPoint would be used anyways. [b]Meet Face-to-Face[/b] - well most PowerPoint presentations are face-to-face. If you're presenting something to an audience, what else would you use? [b]Ask questions about problems, etc.[/b] - you may want to use PowerPoint to present problems, but is a presentation the right forum for problem solving? [b]Watch the tangents[/b] - This has nothing to do with PowerPoint. You can have tangents with or without PowerPoint

Bob N.
Bob N.

Last year I was asked to moderate a presentation at an IT event that featured content almost exclusively delivered by Microsoft MVPs. In order to differentiate my session I decided to showcase a tool which I was certain was unknown to the audience. That tool was Prezi. If you too are unaware of Prezi, you can check it out at http://prezi.com/ . Although it may not resonate with you at first glance I can tell you that it was very well received at my presentation. It has a wealth of tools that allow you to use imaginative ways to engage your audience and provide memorable content that reinforces your presentation. As compared to PowerPoint, Prezi is a much richer presentation platform. Check out some of the presentations to get a fell for what's possible.

Bob N.
Bob N.

I use PowerPoint slides as an aid by putting a maximum of three points on a slide. Those points are limited to a couple of words that describe the subject of my conversation with my audience on those points. I want my audience to know what we are discussing and I want them to be involved in that discussion. This has always worked well for me in my presentations and it has turned Death by PowerPoint into a Road Map for a Conversation.

Mike.mlapascua
Mike.mlapascua

You are totally right. Most PowerPoint presentations are a TORTURE, people start to sleep or fall in blanked mind.

nlpiatt
nlpiatt

I have to agree with the others...PowerPoint is just a tool to convey information. How people use it is what causes "death by PowerPoint." Many people use PP as a teleprompter because they're so ill-prepared to present. There's a lot of steps you can take to make meetings livelier and more engaging, not to mention more productive.

promotions1
promotions1

I agree with many. This problem has always existed, even in the days of the OHP - remember that thing? We have good tools, let's learn to use them well. I also agree with Toni with respect to keeping the session useful and engaging. A useful book on this is "The winging it logic system" by Keith Spicer. It is about engaging mentally with the audience - you can use PowerPoint with it, but it is designed to work without visual aids. I have used it to make a multi-million dollar proposal that was accepted.

mussidino
mussidino

Las quejas sobre el PowerPoint, son las mismas que la de la izquierda por la derecha; solo ideolog??a por medio. Es como muchos no podemos entender que haya fan??ticos de tal producto, pero los hay; los gustos, gustos son y hay que aceptarlos. Si millones, usan esta herramienta, bien o mal, la usan y sin importar las cr??ticas filos??ficas de los que se oponen, cada a??o hay mas usuarios; no ser?? el momento de aceptarla, guste o no, de admitir que somos un crisol de opiniones, gustos, cada uno con sus puntos a favor y en contra. Tambi??n s??, que si filtramos de estas listas de oposici??n al uso del PowerPoint, a todos los que no tienen ninguna o poca simpat??a por Microsoft; seguramente la lista quedar?? muy reducida; pero al final es lo que menos importa, como toda herramienta, se puede usar bien o mal. Pero lo que le?? en algunos sitios en Internet, de comentarios sobre dicha herramienta; es como si fuera el mal en persona, el instrumento demon??aco de Microsoft para arruinar las mentes, destruirlas. Cuando uno ve luego la publicidad y el tipo de art??culos de dicho sitios, lo entiende y puede interpolar los comentarios y porque tal campa??a; pero lo importante, es que antes que existiera el PowerPoint, el ser humano uso muchos medios gr??ficos de comunicaci??n, que solo se fueron adaptando o remplazando por otros con el tiempo; pero al final todos bajo el mismo concepto: ???Una imagen, vale por mil palabras???.

jeltez42
jeltez42

Respectfully, face-to-face meetings are not really needed. Direct communication is a much more efficient and productive way to communicate. This can happen via remote communications like video calls. People tune out in traditional meetings because they are too long and most of the information does not pertain to them. You could have the world's best dog and pony show and most will tune out. Keep meetings short, to the point and involving only the information needed for these specific people that need to know this information. Powerpoint is an informational tool not entertainment. It you need to entertain the attendees, you should not be having the meeting.

ADLJD
ADLJD

Seth Godin is the internet marketer guru. He addressed this years in several blogs (http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2008/10/nine-steps-to-p.html) and a PDF e-book that he allowed to download for free once. His point is to use the power point as a cinematic extra that emphasizes the points of your lecture. I did this once for a creation science lecture I gave and it had a profound impact on the audience. What Toni says is basically in agreement with Seth.

Gromit
Gromit

Powerpoint is a powerful tool in the right hands, but it will not turn a poor speaker into a genius who captivates his audience. You have to craft a presentation so that it's concise and delivers your message with impact. You have thirty seconds max to make your point with a slide; after that your audience won't be listening to you any longer. What you NEVER do is read what's on the slide or overpower the message with useless animations. The message is the thing, and your delivery and presentation have to work together to best get that message into the minds of your audience.

martinhughharvey
martinhughharvey

PPT is a tool and like any other can be used efficaciously or not. It seems that effective meetings is a cause celebre at the moment and frankly, why not? In my long history in the workplace it's been hit and miss but something I have a passion about attempting to do effectively. Frankly this conversation is in my opinion another nibble at a complex and pervasive issue and not too much help.

polnjean
polnjean

I do all that, and more, and use PowerPoint

BigIve
BigIve

We have several guys who use a Mind Mapping tool to present their info. In this case MindManager although there are many other options such as FreeMind, XMind and the Brain. A presentation using a mind map shows the evolution of the idea and thought processes rather than flat facts. It is not for every situation but can be a much better way to present your ideas - especially if this is a work in progress. One of the guys actually takes his meeting notes as a mind map so that it give more info on how the team reached a decision rather than a one line statement in isolation. PowerPoint has it's place and can be very effective in the right hands. One thing that transforms it is to use a cordless presenter (20-30 sterling) that allows the presentation to be advanced remotely. This allows the presenter freedom to move around and talk flowingly without having to run back to the PC. Most devices have laser pointers and some have addtional features like presentation blackout (stop looking at the screen and listen to me!) and can give timers with vibrate alerts at 5 and 2 minute to end.

toadforce
toadforce

Part of the training should be HOW to present with powerpoint not just how to fade between slides or add music. But before you talk about ditching it just imagine all those presentations with just a talking head and nothing else to look at! We don't want to return to those days...

iain.sutherland
iain.sutherland

PowerPoint is not the real issue (although I think Prezi is a better tool). If the message is delivered to an appropriate audience in an appropriate manner, then Powerpoint is a useful tool. There are lots of presenters who need some proper presentation training and need to listen to critique to hone their skills. It is like any activity and needs practice if you want to engage an audience fully. Think about the message you are trying to convey and pick out the key threads. Do not overload the audience and definately don't read from the PowerPoint slides (especially from the screen - as your back will be to the audience). Know your subject and deliver the message with confidence. Don't blame PowerPoint - It didn't cause the car crash if the presentation went badly!

janiceann.michal
janiceann.michal

You stated correctly in your article, it's not about ditching PowerPoint it IS about using it correctly. While I totally understand people making you fall asleep it is not PowerPoint that is the issue. Coming in with a face to face with NOTHING in your hand will make for ANOTHER unproductive meeting as not only are people not willing to stay awake, they are not willing to THINK. So if you come in with a blank slate and no proposals, which they will only look at in visuals because they have no time. Sorry Strongly disagree and as a consultant that travels from Corporation to Corporation it is the same theme line. Keeping the PowerPoint to a high-level with the point and not a lot of text, ANDDDDDDD learning how to PRESENT is the way to go.

vinodchand
vinodchand

Sometimes Powerpoint is indispensable, like when you want to make a presentation of facts and figures which other just need to have a know about. But powerpoint as a tool for engaging the audience is where most presenters and presentations fall flat. They forget that they need to engage the audience. If the presentation is made keeping this in mind, I am sure, the tool (powerpoint) will not come in the way of the presenter or the presentation. Making some bold and or controversial statements is the best way to engage the audience.

hug.login
hug.login

Don't blame the tool! If you don't tailor your communication to your audience, every presentation will be just a frustrating and agonizing experience. I agree with a lot of the comments being made here but from personal experience, I also disagree with quite a few of them. Not saying that they are wrong or right, it depends on the people you have to reach and the topic. Some prefer diagrams, some prefer tables with a lot of numbers and other prefer short bullet point lists but all are in the same room with you! Usually I try to anticipate this and have backup slides up in my sleeves just in case somebody doesn't get it. In general I use as less slides as possible but as a rule of thump I try not to use more then one slide per 3-5 minute presentation. Use large, sans serif fonts! If you have to excuse yourself because the slide is unreadable then don't use it or rework it until the last mole in the room can read it! Animations are a waist of time, unless they are absolutely necessary and serve a specific purpose but that's my personal view. The same for colours: Don't go too artistic! Once I had a project status presentation and it turned out that one guy couldn't differentiate between the colour red and green I used as status indicator (BTW: About 9% of men are affected but only 0.8% of women!). In the next presentation I added text to represent the status :-)

DAS01
DAS01

It is not a matter of PowerPoint itself, but one of creating good slides and presenting properly. And who says the lights have to go out? With modern projectors one can have plenty of light in the room. And *never* give out hand-outs at the start. Leave them to the end.

whart57
whart57

A picture paints a thousand words, and that goes up to a million if the picture is an architecture diagram or a workflow. By all means ditch the bullet points, they should be no more than aides-memoir for the speaker anyway, and please ditch the "humorous" animations, but if your attendees aren't seeing the same depiction of what is under discussion you are going to sow confusion and waste a lot of everyone's time. Also how do you do "face to face" when the attendees are split across three or four timezones?

dl_wraith
dl_wraith

Laughed cola out of my nostrils reading this. Love it. Thanks for sharing.

mharris672
mharris672

Hand-outs in advance always help: - Attendees feel they have been given something as active participants - Attendees know in-advance they've got a copy of the slide show -- They don't have to write-down every point throughout the presentation -- They can write notes on their handouts (note-takers) - It speeds-up the presentation I agree, however, it all depends on each particular situation. Prepare and practice is optimal, but there are those instances when short-notice warrants a quick presentation which has not necessarily allowed time for practice. Minimize the amount of slides, while not cramming too much onto each particular slide. Power Point is a 'visual aid' to enhance a presentation.

DAS01
DAS01

GMP (Good Meetings Practice) 101. Reading material distracts from the speaker. People will fidget and not pay attention.

gechurch
gechurch

"If you absolutely must have a meeting, decide on which kind it is" Exactly. Reading the article I was a little confused about what type of meeting Toni was referring to (it seemed to chop and change between 'status update' and 'decision making'). If you're having a decision making meeting you shouldn't be dimming the lights and loading PowerPoint. Or a movie. Or a PDF. Or much of anything (beyond a basic agenda to keep things on track). If you want to make a decision you need people talking and discussing. On the other hand if you are having a status update meeting then sure something presenter-driven like PowerPoint is fine. But yes, you should be asking yourself if the meeting is neccessary. If you need to convey a lot of detail to people just email them the report.

promotions1
promotions1

Exceptional way to get your content right and keep the chunks meaninful. Too bad it seems to be off the radar.

hippiekarl
hippiekarl

since you took the time to post? It sounds as though you were about to expand on the 'complex and pervasive issue' being merely nibbled at on this page--not merely refer to it. That's less than a nibble....

hippiekarl
hippiekarl

to video their 'practice'; there's nothing like catching where you're falling flat (and where you're riveting) from the 'audience's view', and editing yourself accordingly. You'll become aware of your distracting gestures, posture, and modality, as well as the overall 'level of engagement'.

kcskrobela
kcskrobela

Usually people can tell blue from yellow, though not red from green.

gechurch
gechurch

I assume g01d4 meant further in advance (like a week), not 5 minutes before the meeting. I tend to agree - if people aren't interested in the content you may as well let them not read it and get on with their job, rather than force them to sit in a meeting not listening to it. Instead send it out in advance, let those who are interested read it, then meet and discuss the questions that come out of it. Even those people that didn't read the content will get a good understanding of it by listening to others discuss the contentious points.