Is the Presentation the Best Way to Communicate your Message?

by Oliver Adria on 01/10/2010

As much as I love doing presentations and creating presentation slides, the first thing I need to ask myself when I’m to create a presentation is: Is a presentation really necessary? It seems like the solution to everything nowadays is to create some PowerPoint slides. But is it really the most effective approach? Is Microsoft’s PowerPoint or Apple’s Keynote the cure-for-all? No, it’s not.

If you only need to inform a few people about something, maybe a one-page memo is enough? Then everyone can read it on their own time. If you need some feedback from a small group of people, maybe a short discussion round is sufficient for this purpose?

Preparing and doing a good presentation takes time. Not only does it take a lot of YOUR time (e.g. you will need to prepare the presentation, maybe create some slides, maybe a handout, print out some things, you need to book a free place or meeting room, set a time, see if everyone is available at that time and so on), but it also takes up everyone else’s time (they have to stop what they are doing and leave their office to go the the meeting room, they need to prepare, etc). If you need a lot of input for an idea you have, then maybe a workshop setting is better suited for this.

So before even starting a presentation, ask yourself: What is the most efficient way to communicate the message?

This was Idea #1 on the Rethink Presentations eBook. If you don’t have it yet, get it and find out 38 more ideas at

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