November & December theme:
“Choose One Thing”
Posted in :  Brain Waves

During a speaking event for a local association, Fathom partner Brent Robertson did the unthinkable. He ditched his PowerPoint presentation.

In the room were 20 leaders of associations and nonprofit organizations and the discussion was focused on the requirements of leaders when creating a social media program. During one particularly engaging conversation, Brent and a nonprofit leader explored new ways of looking at an old challenge that had been plaguing her 100+ year-old organization. The conversation was beyond social media but it sparked other questions that led to others’ concerns in the room specific to their organization and online engagement.

Brent, sans slides

Going rogue from the slides (he showed only one) wasn’t planned but, after the session ended, it was clear that the discussion that emerged was only possible because the group let go of what was sitting in a slide show. The best part was that he covered all the ground he hoped to during the group discussion.

We’re not advocating a death-to-PowerPoint movement but this experience has made us think twice about how and when to use it. A recent post by Seth Godin, Really Bad PowerPoint, is a great read before you put a presentation together. He wrote it four years ago but reposted it to help ward off what he calls “thousands of hours wasted, every single day, by boring PowerPoint presentations filled with bullets.”

Our point in sharing this experience is to think twice about being confined to an expected universe. Brent found more value in paying attention to what was happening in the room so the group could create their own universe for the two hours they had together, and the conversation with that group is still going.

On October 19, Fathom will host a follow-up webinar, “Building Your Social Media Dream Team When Resources Are Scarce.” Suzi Craig, Fathom’s Director of Market Engagement will lead the discussion and Brent will join the discussion. As a webinar, it will be tough to ditch the slides for this one. But, nothing is impossible.

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Posted by: Suzi Craig
Email the author: suzi@fathom.net