I read an article on The Wall Street Journal yesterday titled “Tips for PowerPoint: – Go Easy on the Text – Please, Spare Us” written by Jared Sandberg.
As I was reading the article I was struck by the idea that many of the criticisms could have easily been turned as glowing endorsements of Mindjet’s MindManager Pro6.
Mr. Sandberg discusses the unglorious catch phrase that PowerPoint sometimes receives when people suffer from “Death by PowerPoint.” Its an all to common thing for meetings to put people to sleep and drive them away from a concept regardless of its merits just because the presenter relied on a tool that engages people passively.
A Mr. Tufte is paraphrased and quote in the following excerpt
Mr. Tufte says thought and analysis are sacrificed for convenience to the speaker, hurting both content and the audience. “PowerPoint allows presenters to pretend they’re giving a presentation,” he says. Still, “its cognitive style profoundly corrupts serious communications,” he says.
Another interview subject estimated that bad PowerPoint presentations cost companies $252 billion per day, conservatively.
Defenders in the article use the rebuttal that people bore people not PowerPoint and they go onto state that PowerPoint provides a crutch for those that fear public speaking. The final nail in the coffin for PowerPoint that could be the nail in the framework for MindManager is the notion that people rarely tell the presenter that the PowerPoint presentation is bad or boring as PowerPoint slide presentations by their nature do not invite any feedback at all.
So how does this parlay into an endorsement for Mindmanager?
- MindManager Presentations provide for an active presentation. The software makes it easy to construct a framework for a presentation just like its easy in PowerPoint. The difference is that MindManager inspires active participation in the presentation drawing people into the conversation, buying into the concept, forming the solution, owning the result, and making a decision all in the same process.
- Death does not occur as MindManager presenters have already moved on to the next decision point and everyone remains awake!
- MindManager saves countless wasted minutes and hours in meetings, combining brainstorming and problem solving sessions into project and process management sessions and leading into decision meetings. The MindManager life cycle of a topic emerging, being discussed and understood, reacted to with a strategy and decided upon with buy in from the entire group is much much shorter than in a PowerPoint culture.
- Its pretty hard to bore people when they are actively engaged in a discussion with you and the rest of the team. When people are encouraged to sit still, be quite and focus on a screen in a dark room, well the recipe for boredom is pretty solid with PowerPoint.