Thursday, October 01, 2009

 

No more death by PowerPoint : SlideShare's Best Winners

Businessweek Magazine reported this year's winners, and the top was Dan Roam whose book I wrote about here. All of the top three are the types of presentations I try for. It doesn't always happen. Sometimes we get locked into required formats, like those RYG (red, yellow, green) types of status reports on projects. But given a choice, this is the approach that works so much better.

One of the things I appreciated about working at Cadence years back was the professional training on site. One class, which I think was actually required for a bunch of us, was on presentations. Even way back then, we were told to cool it on the words and, for crying out loud, don't stand there and read the darn things out loud for the audience.

This image is one that I've used in talking about the state that software can get to: the Winchester Mystery Application. You've been there. The flagship product that got the company rolling has been showing its age. It got there by a path that might be likened to Sarah Winchester's quest with what is now the attraction in San Jose, CA. The result is a UI like the rooms in that mansion and the code needing an archeological dig to keep it running. Like the curse, gotta keep heaping stuff on the product or the company will die.

Back to the presentation awards. Here they are, first through third, covering health care reform, an orphanage, and kidney health:

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