The Pitfalls of Presentation (In)Efficiency

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The information delivered by Simon Morton during “The Pitfalls of Presentation (In)Efficiency” to the PresentPoint Europe conference was very appropriate for the audience, most of whom are involved in assisting clients with developing slides for presentations.

Simon made a careful case for better presentations, but not necessarily better (or more) slides. He encouraged those in attendance to ask clients “why do you think you need it?” rather than “when do you need it?” and inferred that the story of the presentation should be developed before a single slide is ever created.

Bravo!

During his opening remarks, Simon introduced us to his logic, and the story was well told. He then clearly identified the three milestones we were going to pass along the way, and stuck to his agenda. There was a clear beginning, middle and end to his presentation.

The information flowed smoothly from one section to the next, with each milestone clearly identified as it was passed. He told stories to illustrate points and recapped his ideas with a short example at the end.

Simon brought a bit of data to his presentation, but the data didn’t overwhelm his ideas. For example, he did some quick math on potential lost productivity because of poor presentations. It supported his message and was very memorable. But it begs an important question: Why would someone use slides during a presentation for only four people?

There was a bit too much information in Simon’s presentation, which is a pity. I suspect the audience would have benefited from more time to ask questions and tap into his breadth of experience and wealth of knowledge.

Simon’s delivery was calm and relaxed, yet enthusiastic. He paused frequently to allow us to absorb his ideas. For the most part, the presentation was very conversational. There were a few times when I was still processing one idea when he delivered another. A bit more pausing a bit more frequently would have added even more value to what was an excellent delivery overall.

There were about eight questions asked during the presentation. The answers were a bit longer than needed, and shorter answers (combined with a bit less content within the presentation) may have allowed the audience to ask more questions to tap into Simon’s knowledge and truly make it their own.

This was one of the most conversational presentations I’ve attended in some time. Simon is an excellent presenter and his focus on “moving the audience to action” during all presentations, which was skillfully delivered one bucket at a time, undoubtedly makes him incredibly valuable as a consultant to his clients.


New book encourages less presentation, more conversation
Cover of the book One Bucket at a Time.
The central theme of this book that a presentation should be a conversation is ingenious. Humans have evolved for hundreds of thousands of years to communicate by conversation. We are mentally structured to do so.

"For anyone seeking to set themselves and their ideas apart, this book is well worth the read. Eric Bergman’s techniques are a window to the future of this important human activity.”

John Sweller, PhD
Emeritus Professor of Education
University of New South Wales
Sydney, Australia

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