Death by PowerPoint – Part 1 – Anatomy of bad presentations

The hilarious video below from comedian Don MacMillan illustrates why most people HATE PowerPoint.

Ah.  PowerPoint.

Microsoft’s gift – and curse – to the business world.  It’s also my favorite tool of the MS Office “holy trinity” … but only when used effectively.

I used to HATE presenting.  Part of it was overcoming my reticence and nervousness presenting in front of large groups, but part of it was because I had seen so many BAD PowerPoint presentations, that I couldn’t possibly imagine myself consistently doing good ones.  My worst fear was to be utterly BORING… and not getting my points across.

Over the years, I’ve become a respectably good presenter (Ninja level but not Master Sensei).  As an aspiring Product Manager or Product Marketing manager, PRESENTATION and COMMUNICATION skills – or more importantly PERSUASIVE PRESENTATION skills are crucially important to your success.

Why?  Because in technology companies, Product Managers are usually at the hub of interaction between multiple groups (Sales, Sales Engineering, R&D, Marketing, even Finance).  Your job often requires that you understand the market and lead these groups to reach a consensus on product direction, road map, or strategy – often by presenting different ideas and approaches for consideration.

It’s a tough job that may seem like it has no owner, or too many owners, but if you’re a good Product Manager – this should be YOUR job.  And to do that as a leader, you will have often have to present your ideas in PowerPoint.

So after we make fun of bad PowerPoint presentation habits, we’ll explore how you can actually LEARN how to present well with PowerPoint as a complementary tool and not a crutch.   More on this to come…

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One Response to Death by PowerPoint – Part 1 – Anatomy of bad presentations

  1. Pingback: Product Managers: 4 Tips for Presenting at Sales Meetings | Black Book Ninja

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