Not just the tools
James Governor notes the fact that the “fireside chat” as a medium for communication of data is more effective than PowerPoint ever has been:
Could it be that briefing without PowerPoint makes us more honest, as well as more engaging? Or perhaps its just that the execs I have recently met under the format are confident enough to be really frank.
The difference seems obvious to me – in a fireside chat, the words are your own. They haven’t had the sincerity sucked out of them by iterative waves of examination from handlers, marketers, or other protectors of the corporate faith, and the communication isn’t merely broadcast – it is a genuine feedback loop. You may still be the product of hours of PR training and briefing by everyone under the sun — but in order to reiterate without props, you are also forced to understand – and the depth of your understanding is suddenly directly proportional to the depth of the message you are able to convey to others.
That being said, I don’t think it is fair to blame the slide software. To bastardize a catchphrase, PowerPoint doesn’t bore people — People bore people.
I personally aspire to more of a Pecha Kucha style of presentation. I sure hope my legions of handlers and marketing personnel can take the transition…