Monday, 4 October 2010

When stories and Powerpoint clash

A mantra I keep hearing is "we need to tell stories to influence change." I agree with this, however, I do have a few provisio's

  • if the story has no relevance to your message then why are you telling it?
  • if you provide a personal story to illustrate your values then please make sure it connects with the audience at the time (please update and avoid repeating)
  • when you use PowerPoint to tell your story there seems to be a dissonance - the method is not matching the intent
As a method of influence, especially for large scale change, stories work well because they contain the emotive meme that a PowerPoint presentation usually lacks.  So let's use stories, but let's use them advisedly and with care.

1 comment:

jaderg said...

Completely agree with your first two points. However, I have a different take on the use of PowerPoint with storytelling.

PowerPoint can be an extremely effective tool when telling stories. Visual elements of a story, when used appropriately, help to heighten emotion, clarify meaning and convey a storyline. Just check out TEDtalks to see any number of extremely powerful presentations combining storytelling with PowerPoint (or similar tools).

I think the problem is when PowerPoint is used inappropriately. Bulleted text and wordy slides are more distracting than supportive. Unfortunately, there are far too many people who still take this approach.

Guns don't kill people. People kill people.

PowerPoint doesn't kill stories. People kill stories.