Let it slide

Thinking more about the Presentation Zen workshop a week ago I have some concerns about the interchangeability of the word presentation. Maybe interchangeability is the the wrong word - perhaps the word I am looking for is ambiguity?

Garr Reynolds touched on this in his material. Conference hosts often ask their talent to forward their presentation in advance. Of course this isn't possible because the presentation is going to happen at some stage in the future. Of course the organiser wants the Powerpoint slides.

I think the problem I have been having with the concept of Presentation Zen is that it emphasises design - which, of course reinforces the idea that the slides are the presentation.

Tom Peters produces the pug-ugliest slides in the world. You can download them from his website. I've seen Mr Peters present (one of my earliest posts covered his talk at Better by Design's inaugural conference in Auckland.). Present is the operative word. Peters is a pro. He tells his stories with vim I've never seen before. Culturally Garr and Peters are poles apart. The Zen garden and a bear pit. I like them both.

The Presentation Zen workshop reminded me to stop the rot of terrible Powerpoint presentations. But the idea of being present is more important than your slides. You audience came to hear your ideas and experiences first and foremost. If the slides help them understand - make 'em as clear as bell. As simple as needs be - and no simpler.

Picture from the WebStock Flicker stream Me talking to Garr Reynolds - that is Idealog in his hands - I had to brave the antarctic blasts on the streets of Wellington to find a copy - that is dedication.


  1. Being present is the key to any presentation.

    However really I came to read this because I have been listening to a great song by Shawn Colvin called "Let it Slide".

    We still got hope and trust
    We can still hang tough
    And let it slide
    And when it’s all too much
    We’ll leave it in the dust
    Climb up on that bus
    And ride


    So this is me saying baby don’t doubt it
    This is me saying baby it’s time
    The heart gonna see what it wants to believe
    And the heart’s always willing to try

    I especially like the part about the heart is gonna see what it wants to believe.

    If you make a presentation you have to believe in what you are saying and why you are there.

    If not - as they say.
    its time to

    Let it Slide....


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